Kiwi mum's chilling warning after a dresser fell on her two-year-old daughter

The dresser fell and trapped the toddler.
The dresser fell and trapped the toddler. Photo credit: Supplied

A kiwi mum is warning other parents to secure their furniture after a dresser fell on her two-year-old daughter leaving her trapped. 

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Newshub her daughter was in her room while she was looking after her other child in a different room. 

"I heard a faint cry and when I opened the door, what I saw was something that will be etched in my memory forever," she said. 

"Her feet and waist were sticking out from beneath the unit [dresser]. I thought she was dead."

She said she rushed over and checked the colour of her feet to see if she was alive. She then tried to lift the dresser off her daughter.

"I pulled it up a bit and pulled her out. The top two draws were moving in and out freely, so they weren't bearing weight on her luckily."

"I think her arm was pinned though [because] it was that hard to get her out."

Thankfully, her daughter escaped the accident mostly unharmed with only a small bump on her head to show for it. 

"She was crying a bit and shivering from shock but was comforted by being in my arms."

"I checked her over as best as I could while I was holding her and realised she had escaped serious injury."

However, she called the ambulance just in case she had internal injuries or a concussion. 

"There were no blood or fractures that I could see or feel, but I knew she needed to be checked by paramedics and I was worried if I transported her myself that something could go wrong." 

The unsecured dresser that fell on her daughter.
The unsecured dresser that fell on her daughter. Photo credit: Supplied

When the paramedics arrived, they hardly believed what had happened because her daughter was so happy. 

"She was giggling and running around playing off the attention."

The paramedics gave her a form and told her to take her daughter to the after-hours clinic, where she was given the all clear. 

She said she had been planning to get the dresser secured for a while, but didn't own the right tools, so had been putting it off. 

"I'm a solo mum...their dad isn't involved. I don't have a power drill and get a bit overwhelmed with house repairs and that sort of thing. I wish I had done it though," she said. 

The dresser has now been secured to the wall thanks to her neighbour. But she said she couldn't stop thinking about what could have happened. 

"It's my worst nightmare to make a mistake that could cost my kids their life. I felt that regret in those first moments.My heart sank to my feet, thinking my own complacency could have killed her."

"I felt a whole lot of responsibility for what my daughter went through. I'm beyond grateful that she didn't suffer any serious injuries or worse," she said. 

"I couldn't sleep that night thinking that I could have been organising a funeral." 

She said any parents who are putting it off should make sure they do it. However, she acknowledged how hard it can be and says there needs to be more help for parents, especially solo parents.

"I think it's easy to plan to do something, but not quite get around to it."

"Being a solo mum, I would like to see an organisation like Work and Income offering to send a builder to do it. Many women don't feel very competent with tools and securing furniture. You need to know where the studs are for a start."

She said renting is another reason people might put it off. 

"Many people have commented that their landlord won't let them even put pinholes in the walls, let alone big screws. But I've said to them, just do it. I don't think they [landlords] would get anywhere claiming for it at the Tenancy Tribunal."

"I do think being in a rental is a bit of a hurdle and concern. It was one of the reasons I hadn't done it."

According to the Tenancy Services, a landlord must not "unreasonably refuse to allow a tenant to put up fixtures such as shelves".

During the Christchurch earthquake an eight-month-old baby was killed when a TV was thrown off a set of draws and onto him. 

In 2018, an Australian three-year-old was killed when an unsecured cabinet fell on him.