Falling furniture and TVs are hidden hazards that threaten children

On average, a child dies every 10 days

BALTIMORE (WMAR) - There's a hidden hazard threatening the lives of children. On average, a child dies every 10 days from a TV or furniture falling on them. There’s a way to eliminate the hazard.

Anchoring your furniture or TV is a worry-free way to protect your child. It's not a new concept but there are still too many deaths and injuries.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is working to keep kids safe by continuously getting the word out, launching educational campaigns, and working with product manufacturers.

Last year, a two-year-old was killed in Lakeland, Florida. Investigators say Connor DeLong got out of his crib at night and was reaching for a baby monitor behind a dresser when it came crashing down on top of him.

DeLong was just a toddler. He didn't know what could happen and his mom didn't think something like that ever would.

“Take five, save lives. We can really address this hazard easily and quickly,” said Ann Marie Buerkle, Acting Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The CPSC’s “Anchor-It!” campaign urges parents to take five minutes to anchor their furniture and TVs.

“It is as simple as attaching this piece of hardware to the wall and this piece of hardware to the dresser. So even if the child climbs up that dresser that dresser won't tip over. It’s secured to the wall and that eliminates, it eliminates this hazard,” said Buerkle.

Some responsibility also falls to the manufacturers. Buerkle said they're working with them on enhancing safety standards.

The IKEA recall showed how some companies were not complying with the voluntary industry standards.

In the fall, IKEA reissued a massive recall of their MALM dressers and chests after an eighth child died when one of their products fell on the child.

TVs are also a common culprit of these kinds of injuries.

“This will fall and hit the child in the head. Oftentimes, it'll result in a laceration or another kind of less serious injury but we do see the most serious head injuries such as intracranial bleeding and concussions,” said Dr. Stephen Charbonneau, an attending physician in the MedStar Health Franklin Square emergency department.

Anchoring is simple to do but it's not done enough. The stories and grim statistics are one final reminder on why you should take five and do what you can to protect your own.

“The fact that I have six kids and 17 grandkids, I pay close attention to safety issues, I always have,” Buerkle said.

“Yah, and I myself have a one-year-old who's just starting to explore, so I know we're going to go home and try to secure some of these things up,” Dr. Charbonneau said.

Anchoring kits typically come with new furniture sets. You can also get them at most hardware stores.

Another option is to mount your TV or if you can't anchor it, push it as far back as possible and make sure it's on a low sturdy base.

For more information on product recalls, click here.


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