When Kayli Shoff and her husband Ricky first put a video monitor in their twin boys’ bedroom, the camera was meant to keep an eye on them in their Utah home. She hardly expected that the camera would capture a terrifying accident involving one of her sons — or his brother’s efforts to save him.
But on New Year’s Eve, the Shoffs posted a video to YouTube showing 2-year-old twins Bowdy and Brock trying to climb a white dresser in the corner of their bedroom when the furniture collaped on Brock, pinning him underneath.
Bowdy, after climbing over the dresser, can be seen in a longer clip pushing the furniture off his brother, who despite crying is able to sit up and look around again.
Ricky Shoff shared the video on Facebook Sunday, noting that he was “a little hesitant to post this.”
“I feel it's not only to bring awareness, but it is also incredible,” he added. “We are so grateful for the bond that these twin brothers share. We know Bowdy was not alone in moving the dresser off of Brock. And feel blessed that he is ok.”
Kayli Shoff told KSL that on the day of the accident, neither she nor her husband heard the falling furniture.
“I usually hear everything,” Shoff said. “I didn't hear a cry; didn't hear a big thud.”
But Shoff also marveled at her other son’s actions saving his brother.
“He sat there and thought, he tried to lift it up first and obviously that didn’t work, so he just pushed with all of his might and it pushed it right off of his brother,” Shoff told 7News.
“I really believe in a twin bond, you always hear that, and I really think these two have it,” Shoff told the station.
In a 2014 study, staffers at the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that about 360 children age 10 or younger had been killed by falling televisions, furniture or appliances between 2000 and 2013. The Shoffs, after seeing the footage and realizing what had happened, immediately secured the dresser to the wall with screws.
They decided to also share the footage from the video monitor to help other families learn from their mistake.
“Everybody needs to bolt your dressers to the wall. We just didn't think about it,” Shoff told KSL. “We just want to spread awareness to this one accident that happened and hope it doesn’t happen to any other families.”
Though clothing storage manufacturers have industry standards for how stable their items should be in a home, the standard is currently voluntary. After the Shoffs’ video gained traction Tuesday, Sen. Bob Casey (D.-Pa.) said in a statement he would reintroduce a bill with co-sponsors Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D.-Minn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D.-Conn.) to make that standard mandatory.
“Horrifying incidents, like the one appearing in this video, show why we need strong, enforceable stability standards for furniture that can harm children,” Casey said. “Unstable dressers and storage units continue to present a danger to our nation’s kids. It’s a miracle that a life wasn’t lost in this incident, and the next child may not be so fortunate.”