To have a toddler is to be on constant alert for all the hazards their curious little bodies might encounter. And, as such, dads don’t just have their heads on a swivel — they develop preternatural reflexes to snatch, grab, pull, and save their child from potential danger. Dad reflexes are a very real phenomenon and, in an example of an almost otherworldly reaction, a recent video shows a father snatching his kid in a split second to prevent him from being hurt by a falling, un-anchored bookcase.
The video in question is one of a handful submissions to this years Nestie Awards, a contest in which families who use the popular Nest Cam Security Camera submit all the crazy happenings caught by the always-on camera eye. In this terrifying incident, the toddler plants their foot to start climbing on a book case, which starts to rock. The dad in the video managed to shoot up from a totally seated position and catch the falling piece of furniture before it caused any damage.
Relieved, the dad looks up at the ceiling— appearing to thank whatever kind of god or good karma is floating around the universe. Meanwhile, the toddler fell just a few inches onto their butt and, undeterred, started climbing again as if nothing happened. Kids.
While we’re impressed with this guy’s incredible reflexes, we’re not impressed with the fact that the bookcase was not anchored. Unanchored furniture is incredibly dangerous. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a child dies, on average, every two weeks from being crushed by a TV or furniture and every 30 minutes a kid receives emergency care due to tipped furniture or a falling TV. In fact, 91 percent of tip-over fatalities occur in the home and 46 percent of those occur in a bedroom. So, anchor your furniture. Please.
And to those who don’t believe in the dad reflex, there’s some real science behind this dad’s superpowers. When men get really stressed, they tend to release large amounts of a hormone and neurotransmitter called norepinephrine into their bloodstream. It elicits a base survival response by increasing blood pressure and sharpening motor activity. Anytime a dad needs to get in front of a wayward baseball bat or catch a toddler who fell off of his shoulders, we can all thank the dad reflexes phenomenon for keeping them safe.