Sydney Adventitious Bowles (left, with mom Keisha Bowles) and Meghan Beck (in frame, with accompanying brother Ryan Beck and mom Kim Amato) were asleep by chiffonier tip-overs.
“Standing afore all of you is the aftermost abode that I anytime absurd I’d be aback I became a parent,” said Kimberly Amato in February 2020, at the anniversary affair for the International Customer Artefact Health and Assurance Organization. Yet there she stood, assertive and calm with her long, coiled beard pulled back, to allocution about her affliction nightmare—how her 3-year-old babe Meghan was asleep aback the chiffonier in her bedchamber angled over on top of her.
Before that tragedy, Amato had never heard of a chiffonier angled over assimilate a child. As a concrete therapist and accouchement educator, she anticipation she’d done all she could to baby-proof her home—installing chiffonier locks, aperture covers, alike straps on alpine bookcases—before Meghan’s earlier brother, Kyle, was born. But she’d affected that baby dressers like the one she’d bought for Meghan’s bedchamber were safe and ascetic by a authoritative bureau afore they were put on the market.
It is a accepted assumption, according to a July Customer Reports nationally adumbrative analysis of 2,031 U.S. adults. Ninety-six percent of Americans acquire that home appurtenances costing $75 or more, such as dressers, attach to a appropriate assurance standard.
For Amato, that delusion was burst in the aboriginal morning hours of Dec. 18, 2004, aback Meghan suffocated beneath her chiffonier while the blow of the family—including Meghan’s accompanying brother—slept.
Amato couldn’t acquire again how her 28-pound babe could acquire acquired the heavy, 30-inch-tall chiffonier to tip over, but she vowed to acquisition out. “As I captivated my Meggie’s anatomy in my accoutrements for the aftermost time in the emergency room, I promised her that she would be the aftermost adolescent to die from a tip-over,” Amato says.
More On Apparatus Tip-Overs
It has been about 15 years aback Meghan’s death, and admitting Amato’s active efforts, one adolescent still dies about every two weeks afterwards a allotment of furniture, an appliance, or a television tips over, according to the Customer Artefact Assurance Commission, the government bureau tasked with administering bags of customer goods. Aback 2000, at atomic 210 people—mostly accouchement ages 6 and younger—have been asleep aback dressers or added apparatus that abundance clothes acquire angled over.
Why? Because adverse to what best parents believe, there is no binding federal assurance accepted that requires every chiffonier to canyon able adherence tests. Instead, there is alone a voluntary accepted that abounding assurance advocates say is not accurate abundant to anticipate dressers from angled over in real-world situations. And while anchoring apparatus can be an important allotment of the solution, CR’s advancing analysis into apparatus tip-overs has apparent why it is not an accessible fix for many.
Amato acknowledges that she couldn’t accumulate her affiance to Meghan. But she has never accustomed up trying—and appropriate now she’s afterpiece to the end ambition than she’s been in added than a decade.
Meghan Agnes Beck, 3 years old, was asleep aback a chiffonier in her bedchamber angled over assimilate her.
Since 2005, Amato has announced at endless conferences, afore ancestor groups, and on civic TV. She’s additionally abutting with added parents who’ve absent accouchement to apparatus tip-overs, and in 2018, they formed the advancement accumulation Parents Adjoin Tip-Overs. Calm they’ve amplified acquaintance about the accent of anchoring apparatus to the wall, alternate in apparatus standard-setting meetings, met with their accompaniment and federal representatives, partnered with and testified afore the CPSC, and helped to body abutment for apparatus assurance legislation.
And admitting they’ve fabricated progress, the accepted autonomous accepted still leaves accouchement at risk. Now Amato and added PAT associates are gearing up for their bigger activity yet: a advance to canyon the Stop Tip-Overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act through Congress. The legislation would crave the CPSC to assuredly actualize a rigorous, binding federal accepted for dressers.
The legislation has already anesthetized the House—the extreme any such bill has anytime come—but it needs to canyon the Senate afore the end of the year or ancestor advocates charge alpha over in 2021. And there is no time to waste. Lawmakers will be in Washington, D.C., for an abbreviated abatement affair afore the November elections, again potentially for alone a abbreviate affair afterwards the elections.
“Had there not been a pandemic, I anticipate we would acquire had a absolutely acceptable chance,” Amato says. “But kids are still actuality afflicted and asleep by apparatus at about the aforementioned amount as they were 20 years ago! It’s time for action,” she says.
Consumer advocates like those at CR agree. “These parents are angry adamantine for able assurance standards, alike in the average of a pandemic, aback abounding of them acquire their kids at home all the time,” says Oriene Shin, activity admonition for CR. “The Senate should annual their adventuresomeness and animation by casual the STURDY Act now.”
Amato aboriginal abstruse about the autonomous accepted for dressers in 2005 afterwards autograph to the administrator of the CPSC anon afterwards Meghan’s death. In response, a CPSC staffer told Amato that, for dressers, the bureau relied on a autonomous accepted created by
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