Fellow twenty first century dad and mom, we are able to depend ourselves extraordinarily fortunate that our children are rising up in a far safer world than we did. For instance, in case your childhood was something like mine, you took summer time street journeys, barreling down the interstate, rolling round within the “wayback” of your dad and mom’ station wagon with zero point out of a seatbelt. You’d journey your bike throughout city with out a helmet. Also, your dad and mom most likely took you to a “chickenpox party” when some child in your neighborhood examined constructive so you can hurry up, get uncovered, get sick, and recover from it, by no means thoughts the intense fever and potential everlasting scarring rooster pox can depart in your physique. And they allow you to play with the sick child—inspired it even—letting you share gown up garments and sippy cups—whereas they puffed away on their Virginia Slims and crammed each attainable inch of air area round your little lungs with secondhand smoke.
And, I’ll enterprise to say that few, if any, of our dad and mom ever thought to anchor heavy furnishings to the wall. But as we speak, all of that has modified, and our children are safer consequently. They’re in automotive seats, and boosters, and put on seatbelts. They put on helmets. They get vaccinated. And for the love, I certain hope nobody pollutes your children’ airspace with the toxins of cigarette smoke.
But additionally, we all know now how harmful dressers and different heavy furnishings could be. We know the way rapidly younger children can climb on issues—even when we’re out of the room for a minute or two. And we all know the injury that may be performed when one topples over, as a result of we’ve heard the horror tales and we’ve discovered from different dad and mom’ errors. Parents like these of a gaggle known as PAT, an acronym for “Parents Against Tip-Overs”—which is comprised of fogeys who’ve been compelled to endure each guardian’s worst nightmare—shedding a toddler.
Because the unhappy fact is, children throughout America are nonetheless in danger, residing in houses with unanchored furnishings. Already in 2021, tragically, “at least four children—a 23-month-old in Georgia, a three-year-old in Maryland, a two-year old in Florida, and a seven year-old in New York—have died” because of this security hazard, says Gabe Knight from Consumer Reports.
In addition, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) experiences that “between 2000 and 2010, CPSC staff received reports of 245 tip-over-related deaths involving children 8 years old and younger. More than 90 percent of the incidents involved children 5 years old and younger. In more than half of the 245 fatalities (56%), the child was crushed by the weight of the television, furniture, or appliance. The majority of these children suffered fatal injuries to the head (67%).”
That’s why Parents Against Tip-Overs (PAT) have joined collectively to introduce and assist the STURDY Act (Stop Tip-Overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers On Youth Act), which might “create and finalize a mandatory standard to help prevent tip-over incidents involving dressers and other clothing storage furniture,” says a joint letter to the Senate signed by dozens of native, state, and nationwide organizations.
Parents Against Tip-Overs is a gaggle none of us need to be part of, as PAT is a “nationwide network founded by parents who have lost their children to furniture tip-overs and want to see an end to these preventable tragedies.” They reside by means of unimaginable ache, and should stay with the void of their misplaced little one for the remainder of their lives, however they’re begging us to study from their error. They are begging us to do what they uncared for to do, and guarantee our furnishings and heavy home equipment are anchored and safe.
And, they’re asking for our assist in getting The STURDY Act handed by means of the American legislature.
According to their web site stoptipovers.org, the STURDY Act (a.okay.a. invoice H.R.1314/S.441) “would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to create a mandatory safety standard for all dressers and clothing storage units manufactured or sold in the U.S.” This is vital, PAT explains, as “currently, there is no mandatory standard, and the existing voluntary standard is insufficient.”
Because children are getting harm and a few are dying, even as we speak, properly into the twenty first century.
Meghan Agnes Beck, a 3-year-old, who died proper earlier than Christmas when her dresser fell on her throughout the night time. Sydney “Chance” Bowles, who at 2 1/2, misplaced her life after a TV/furnishings tip-over accident. Ted McGee, a 22-month-old, who was crushed beneath his dresser whereas his mom thought he was taking a nap. Conner DeLong was discovered on Mother’s Day, trapped beneath a dresser that adopted the business’s “voluntary safety standards” and remains to be bought in shops as we speak. He was two years previous.
These tales and extra could be discovered on stoptipovers.org, as they’re the kids of PAT dad and mom. And in truth, they might be my little one, or yours. This isn’t about dad and mom watching their youngsters extra carefully, as all of us put our children down for a nap and depart the room. We all let our three and four-year-olds play independently (as they need to) once in a while. But we’ve to know that the furnishings within the room is secure and safe after we do.
The STURDY Act, very similar to laws surrounding automotive seats and different security measures for kids, will assist us do exactly that. But Parents Against Tip-Overs (PAT) wants our assist, and is encouraging us to name or write our legislators, asking them to assist this invoice.
The invoice already has the assist of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), however that’s clearly not sufficient.
“Every forty-six minutes, a child is injured in a tip-over incident. Between 2000 and 2019, tip-over incidents have been linked to more than 460 child fatalities,” says Congresswoman Schakowsky. “Today, I’m reintroducing the STURDY Act to protect children from these preventable dangers and spare families from these painful situations resulting simply from a piece of furniture.”
And Senator Casey, who launched the invoice within the Senate, provides, “Congress must quickly pass this legislation to stop the hundreds of preventable injuries, and even deaths, that impact children and families across the country each year.”
The downside is that security measures are voluntary and there’s no strict, across-the-board protocol. Some dad and mom are knowledgeable, their pediatricians talk about the significance of anchoring furnishings, and the kid dressers and TVs they buy even include anchoring kits and directions. Then, there are the households the place dad and mom have by no means even thought of this security hazard in any respect. That’s why the STURDY Act issues.
Here’s what it’s going to tackle. First of all, the one security commonplace in place proper now could be voluntary and it’s restricted. As PAT’s web site explains, “The voluntary standard for dressers tests whether a dresser or drawer will tip with 50 lbs. hanging from an open drawer. This has not proven stringent enough to reduce tip-overs. It also only applies to dressers over 27 inches.”
And, once more, this weak commonplace is voluntary, so furnishings makers don’t even have to satisfy it in any respect.
The STURDY Act, nonetheless, will:
- Mandate that every one clothes items be examined
- Require that checks simulate the weights of kids by means of 72 months
- Mandate testing to “account for scenarios involving carpeting, loaded drawers, and the dynamic force of a climbing child”
- Require warnings on merchandise
- Require CPSC to “issue the mandatory standard within 1 year of the STURDY Act’s enactment”
Thankfully, assist for the STURDY Act is already there, from many influential individuals and organizations. “The bill has been endorsed by a bipartisan group of senators and representatives, as well as dozens of consumer protection, health, and safety organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics,” Gabe Knight tells Scary Mommy. “The STURDY Act has also been endorsed by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) and its members, as well as additional manufacturers.”
It’s laborious to think about something or anybody halting this invoice, as a result of who wouldn’t need this to cross? But we all know how American politics work, and that opposition is all the time attainable. That’s why Parents Against Tip-Overs—dad and mom who’ve actually been compelled to endure the worst moments and best heartbreak conceivable—are asking for our assist to contact senators, representatives, legislators, and actually anybody with affect to get the STURDY Act handed into regulation.
Do it on your children, your grandkids, your good friend’s children, your nieces, and your nephews.
And do it for Meghan, Charlie, and Sydney. And for Harper, Madison, Curren, and Ted. And for Camden, Conner, and Shane. All stunning, harmless youngsters taken far too quickly from this world due to a freak accident that their dad and mom are begging us to stop.
For extra data on furnishings tip-over hazards and hold your loved ones secure, go to Consumer Reports.