Harper Ayva Fried was born on October 29, 2013. From day one she was a perfect, tiny little lady. Over the course of the next 3 years she evolved into a sassy little individual. Small in stature, large in personality. She adored her big sister Kaylee, who she admired and imitated. And she loved her baby sister Rhyann more than words can say. A spunky little spitfire who at just 3 years old maintained real loving and complex relationships with both children and adults in her life.
On the morning of November 19, 2016, Harper played in her bedroom as we got ready for the events of that day. We would get dressed, attend a birthday party and have dinner with our family. Her bedroom was filled with normal bedroom items. A toy box, her crib, a dresser, a small television set, arts and crafts easel and some of her favorite toys. On this regular, sunny Saturday morning, the unimaginable happened. That morning our daughter died while playing in her room, which we wholeheartedly believed to be a safe, kid-friendly place. We believe she was either climbing or hanging from one of her drawers when the dresser fell on top of her. We did not hear the furniture fall, as it landed on top of her. A nearly instant cause of death that unfortunately was preventable.
The remainder of that day, and each day since, our lives have been a nightmare that we will never wake from. Knowing that we could have spent just a few dollars and a few minutes of our time to secure the furniture to the wall and that she would still be with us today is a terribly haunting awareness. It's not that we didn't baby-proof our house. We had numerous baby gates in place. Locks on each cabinet. Safety outlets and outlet covers. The fact is, we believed that by purchasing children's furniture from a reputable children's store made by a manufacturer specializing in only juvenile furniture, that we made a safe purchase. The truth, however, is that no furniture, television or appliance is safe when not securely fastened to a wall.
Since our nightmare began, we have learned the chilling statistics of furniture and television tip over injuries. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission there are an average of 33,100 annual emergency room injuries treated due to such accidents, as well as one death resulting from this type of accident every 2 weeks. While we are unable to go back and change Harper's fate, we can only try to spread awareness and help educate others in hopes that other families don't suffer the same tragedy we have. Our goal for HarperSmiles Inc. is to do just that. With your help we hope to educate families as well as provide home safety products, information, and assistance for proper installation.
For additional information on furniture safety please see the Tip Over Information Center on the US Consumer Product Safety Commission webpage.