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When the walls come tumbling down

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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

When the walls come tumbling down

My youngest is almost six. The baby gates were removed long ago, as were the drawer latches. The outlet covers are there mainly because I'm too lazy to remove them, not because I really think they are needed anymore.

And, oh yeah, the bookcases are still anchored to the wall, probably forever.

Except they aren't.

We found this out last night when D, my almost six year old, tried to reach something on a higher shelf and pulled his six-foot-tall bookcase down on top of him.

The anchor behind it? Snapped like a small twig.

I was in the next room, tucking the girls into bed when I heard a scream and loud BANG! I ran into his room and, to my horror, a scene that will be forever seared into my brain, saw that bookcase lying on the ground, no child in sight.

Oh please, oh please, oh please is all I could think as I pushed the bookcase up. My husband, who was right behind me, jumped over me and into a pile of shattered glass from the picture frames. Our son screamed in fright and pain and reached up to him.

If there is any "good" in a bookcase falling on a child, it's that this particular bookcase was a piece of crap. The shelving "floated" on plastic clips so, instead of pinning my child to the ground and breaking every bone, they collapsed on impact. The wood was cheap particleboard, not heavy hardwood. The only books on it were on the bottom two shelves; the upper shelves were just a few picture frames and nicknacks.

And our little guy escaped with just some bruises and cuts. A quick trip to the ER and an x-ray confirmed that he may be sore for a few days, but no major problems (mad props to Norwood Hospital and Dr. Kim for their amazing ER).

My husband had checked and replaced all the bookcase anchors that had grown old and brittle, though this one, on a bookcase we were tossing just "as soon as we buy a new one" may have been overlooked.

So use our late night experience to your benefit and make sure you don't have any anchors that are no longer holding your furniture to the wall. We were so, so, so very lucky. I can't even think about what would have happened if our luck had run out.

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Blogger Robin said...

Oh my god, how scary. Thank god he's alright!

7:13 AM  
Blogger Beck said...

Good grief, that's horrifying. I'm so glad he's okay.
We have EVERYTHING bolted down - dressers! tvs! Bookcases! - and it never OCCURRED to me that they might get less secure over time. I'm going to check out our furniture today and make sure it's secure.

7:20 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Oh dear God! I am so glad to hear he is okay. You must have been absolutely terrified! :(

7:31 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

So scary! Now I'm going to go check all of ours! You guys need a vacation!

7:43 AM  
Blogger Suburb Sierra said...

OH NO! Poor D. You have some high bookcases in your home, too, so glad it was a cheap one (ok, I'm not calling you cheap...)

We don't have many taller than 3 shelves in our house, however I did find my little guy perched on the bottom of freezer door and climbing INTO the refrigerator out in the garage to get a juice box on the top shelf. That made my heart leap when I caught him so I can't imagine how it feels when something actually tips over!

Glad no broken bones.

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Julie B said...

OH POOR D!!!! AND poor FOP!!!
I am so glad he is ok. I swear I have always said they get more dangerous as they get older!

Thanks for the heads up. I really never thought of the plastic getting weaker (even though I should have since my cabinet latches all broke).

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Golden said...

I am soooooo glad he is OK. Thank for blogging this today. A friend of mine in Sterling, MA lost her 3 year old daughter from a furniture tipover. here is a link to more info.

9:36 AM  
Blogger AnnetteK said...

That is so incredibly scary!! I am so glad he's okay. I never would have even thought that those things you use to attach furniture to the wall could deteriorate. Yikes.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

OH MY GOSH! Poor baby!

Off to check every bookcase RIGHT NOW.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Golden: my heart goes out to your friend. That is so, so, so incredibly sad.

And, when the bookcase fell on D, I heard a thud and he cried out, but then nothing---he was completely silent after that. Had we been downstairs and missed the initial sound, I'm not sure we would have heard anything afterward. It makes me feel sick to think of what that could've meant for him.

10:03 AM  
Blogger The Mom said...

Yikes! Way too many ER visits for people I love this week! I'm always terrified of the same thing happening. M loves to climb, remind me to tell you about what she did when she was a baby.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Q. said...

When I was on the phone with you, I was frantically checking the crazy-heavy ikea bookcases that we have double-anchored to the wall. That thing just LOOKS like a ladder. So glad our little man is OK.

You are due to win the lottery. I'm not kidding.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous MidLifeMama said...

Glad he was OK. This is why I am probably not removing the rubber bumper from my hearth until we either move, or my son no longer lives in the house because he has gone to college. I am quite sure the moment I remove it, his head will smack right into the sharp slate tile edge and you know how head wounds bleed.

11:27 AM  
Blogger C (Kid Things) said...

My daughter had a TV fall on her about a year ago, when she was barely a year old. The most terrifying thing I've ever witnessed was running in the room to find a 32 inch television on top of her tiny little body. Thankfully, it only resulted in a nasty bruise on the side of her face. It could have been so much worse.

I'm glad your son was OK.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Nadine said...

Oh my god! I'm glad he's OK! And book case anchors are probably the only thing we don't have yet. Our book case is just 3 shelves high, but still, getting the anchors this weekend. Thanks for posting!

1:57 PM  
Blogger Kez said...

How scary! Thank god he's ok.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous chemomama said...

Thank God the little one is OK. I'll heck my anchors!

9:07 PM  
Blogger Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Holy shit. I am SO glad he's ok! And now I need to check our shelves...

10:36 PM  
Blogger Patois said...

Whoa, that is frightening! I am so happy your luck is still with you. And may it be forever.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Heather @ MakingItWorkMom said...

So happy he was okay. Now if it was me after I was sure he was not injured in any way and after I had consoled him I wouldn't be able to resist getting in that "see that is why Mommy tells you not to climb on things". I wouldn't be able to stop myself, not even if I tried!

11:38 AM  
Blogger anymommy said...

Whew. So glad he is alright. And hopefully you are not still shaking. Duly noted. We will check our anchors.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Liz said...

That was gut wrenching to read, I can't imagine experiencing it first hand. Thank goodness D is OK. Hugs of relief all around!

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Kelly @ Student of the Year said...

Goodness. How frightening!

1:16 PM  
Blogger Sarahviz said...

Thanks for the reminder! Will definitely check out my Trenches!

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6:57 AM  

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