Moms who have lost children to furniture tip overs push legislation

CHICAGO (WLS) -- According to new report by Kids in Danger, there was a 44 percent drop in recalls of children's products by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission from 2017 to 2018.

"It is tricky to say whether low recall numbers are a good thing - pointing to safer products - or a sign of lax enforcement, leaving dangerous products on store shelves and in our homes. Indicators this year, such as less effective actions in lieu of recalls and fewer findings of design defects in the recalls that were announced, make us worry it is the latter." said Nancy Cowles, Executive Director of Kids in Danger

RELATED: Falling furniture, TVs still putting children at risk despite years of warnings

Lisa Siefert's 2-year-old son Shane died after a dresser tipped over on him at their northwest suburban home in 2011.

"CPSC and manufacturers have delayed too long making effective change to standard," she said.

That's why she's pushing along with other mothers who have lost children to furniture tip overs for government legislation. They support the Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth Act also known as the STURDY Act.

RELATED: Dresser danger: Tipping furniture can cause children injuries, death

"These mothers with me today could be home with their children if we had a stronger standard in place," Siefert said.

The act would require the CPSC to create a mandatory rule for free-standing furniture to protect children from tip-over incidents. The rule will have to cover all clothing units, even those under 30 inches, require testing to simulate the weights of children up to 6 years old and require testing measures to account for scenarios involving carpeting, loaded drawers, and the dynamic force of a climbing child.

It would also require the CPSC to issue the mandatory standard within one year of the act's enactment.

RELATED: Dangerous risk of furniture tip-over revealed by consumer product tests
"I believe making a mandatory standard that takes into account real world use by a child with dynamic testing would have saved my son," said Crystal Ellis, whose son Camden died when a dresser tipped over on him.

Representative Jan Schakowsky, a democrat representing the 9th district in Illinois, said she plans to introduce the Sturdy Act in Congress.

"Let's not wait for tragedies anymore. Let's get it right before these products go on the market," she said.

The CPSC said in a statement "As with any legislation passed by Congress and signed into law, CPSC stands ready to act. Currently, CPSC has federal rulemaking underway on clothing storage units to address furniture instability. Staff is doing technical work with clothing storage units to inform both the voluntary standards and the federal mandatory rulemaking."

But for Siefert and moms like her who have turned their pain into advocacy, they're calling on lawmakers to act.

"STURDY will finally address this. We can't wait any longer," Siefert said.
Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.