Kenmore mom wins victory for children’s safety

Crystal Ellis’ son, Camden, died when a wardrobe fell on him in 2014. A law to prevent similar accidents will take effect this year.

KENMORE, Wash. – Not a day goes by that Crystal Ellis doesn’t think about, and don’t even talk to her son, Camden.

“My son will be in fifth grade this year,” she said. “He should be here talking about 5th grade camp and all that stuff.”

Two days before Camden’s second birthday, he climbed into a closet in his home in Kenmore, spilled it — killing him.

“I think Camden’s death was a strange accident,” Crystal said.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports at least 581 children have died from furniture falling on them since 2000.

Crystal used that knowledge to turn sadness into action.

“I had to dig myself out of grief,” she said. “I feel like I’m devouring every day when someone like me is out there welcoming a new baby and they don’t know what’s going to happen next.”

Crystal has formed a group called Anti-Tipping Parents, and fought for 5 years to enact federal legislation to better protect children from dangerous furniture.

With the help of moms across the country and the help of Washington State Senator Maria Cantwell, this week Crystal was able to pass the Preventing Unstable, Dressed Up Advice Act venture or the STURDY Act.

It requires furniture manufacturers to test and meet furniture stability and safety standards.

“This is a win for child safety,” said Kimberly Amato, who lost her 3-year-old daughter Meghan.

In the past, compliance with safety standards was voluntary, Amato said.

“This is huge. Now, it’s going to be the law. So it’s going to have to happen.”

Nearly a decade after her young son’s death, Crystal can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

After completing the act, she said she spoke to Camden while flying home from Washington, DC. She believes that he has been on this path with her all the way.

“I started crying,” she said. “I said, ‘Dude, we did it. We did it. We’re going to keep those families safe.”

The law does not take effect until the end of the year.

Crystal points out that there are still thousands of closets in homes across the country that could easily be spilled. She asked all the parents to fix the furniture to the wall.

Learn more at the Anchor It website. Kenmore mom wins victory for children’s safety

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