Arkansas mom advocating for safer furniture after her son’s death

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) – A mother Marion is advocating for safer furniture after her two-year-old son died from overturning furniture.

A 2022 report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission says that over the past 20 years, 472 children have died in overturning furniture accidents.

KATV said Keisha is telling their story because she says there’s something important she wants every parent to know that could save a life.

Keisha Bowles is the mother of two-year-old adventurer, Sydney Chance Bowles, who sadly became part of that grim statistic in 2012.

“The last thing she said was I love you mom. I said I love you too Chance. And maybe not even two minutes later, my son walked into my room and it sounded like the TV fell over. I said ok where is Chance? And then his face was distraught and then I ran into the bedroom and saw her under the dresser and apparently the TV hit her too,” she said.

Chance was taken to the hospital, but his life could not be saved.

Keisha spoke with KATV about the furniture anchor.

“We thought we were doing everything right and one thing we didn’t do is we lost a very important person in our family, so it’s been a struggle for all of us,” she said. “I know I feel guilty about this all the time because I should have known, but I didn’t.”

Arkansas Child Injury Prevention Center director Hope Mullins said a furniture anchor costs less than $10 and takes about 10 minutes to install.

“In a furniture anchor, most of them have a similar design to this one. Where you have one piece that mounts to the wall and one that mounts to your piece of furniture and you can squeeze them together based on the space needed between the wall and the piece of furniture,” Mullins said.

Rollovers kill about 20 children each year across the country, and according to Mullins, every hour, two children in the United States go to the hospital because of such incidents.

“In our emergency department here, when, if kids are coming in from overturning furniture, routinely those injuries are brain injuries, head injuries, facial lacerations, broken limbs, arms and legs, and even some crush on the torso,” Mullins said.

Keisha says if you think your child isn’t old enough or that this isn’t going to happen to you, don’t wait.

Brett Horn also lost his son Charlie in an accident and joined Keisha in the formation of “Parents Against Tip-Overs”.

Together they fight to make sure manufacturers are required to pass stricter testing standards and ultimately make safer products.

Parents Against Tip-Overs has been lobbying Washington for passage of the Sturdy Act.

This act would raise mandatory testing standards.

They got the Consumer Product Safety Commission to raise their standards, but the Sturdy Act would enshrine new standards into law.

KATV said the US Senate recently passed the Sturdy Act and it will now go back to the House of Representatives for final approval by the end of the year.

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