SARASOTA, Fla. – TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Dressers, nightstands, vanities, and media consoles. They’re all furniture pieces found in many homes, but they can be dangers in plain sight.
One Tampa Bay mother is trying to get furniture manufactures to make it harder for furniture to tip over.
“I began to first pray that he was just hiding. But then I decided to peel back the frame of the dresser and I found him inside the second drawer,” said Meghan Delong.
This is how Mother’s Day unfolded for Delong two years ago. It was a nightmare, far from the hope she had for her family’s future. She had just adopted her two toddler sons but when she checked on them that day, she noticed Connor wasn’t in his crib.
“His body was inside the second drawer but his head was outside the drawer and his oxygen had been cut off by the weight of the dresser,” said Delong.
Delong immediately scooped her son up, called 911 and tried to save him.
“He was airlifted to Saint Joseph’s. They were able to regain his heartbeat and he was put into the ICU but he never woke up again,” said Delong.
Delong had to make the decision no parent should have to make; removing life support.
“We took all the leads and all the wires off of him. Wrapped him in his favorite blanket. Put him in my arms and he passed away within minutes,” said Delong.
According to the U.S. consumer product safety commission, one child dies every ten days from furniture or a television tipping over. Right now, safety standards are voluntary for manufacturers.
The safety test in place now is a unit, like a dresser, must remain upright when all the drawers are open simultaneously and when a single drawer is open with a 50-pound weight placed inside to pass.
Delong says Connor’s dresser met the standard.
“What I would like to see happen is a stronger mandatory standard. One that not only reduces the weight threshold but eliminates the height restrictions and also accounts for real world use,” said Delong.
Delong is also asking Florida lawmakers to pass tougher safety standards. She wants her tragedy to be one of the last.
“My mission and my thought process was I never want to read about this in the newspaper ever ever again. This can’t happen to other people,” she said.