Large furniture such as television sets, chests, armoires, and kitchen appliances can tip over and crush children, causing injury or death. Last year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission identified this issue as one of the “top five hidden home hazards.” A new data report from the CPSC staff shows at least 180 tip-over related deaths between 2000 and 2006, 80% involving children younger than ten. The report also indicates that between 2005 and 2006 there were at least 40 reports of television or television and furniture related tip-over deaths. These deaths and injuries frequently occur when children climb onto, fall against or pull themselves up on television stands, shelves, bookcases, dressers, desks, chests and stove oven doors. Televisions placed on top of furniture can tip over and cause a child to suffer traumatic and sometimes fatal injuries. Tip-over related deaths continue to be a problem. To help prevent tip-over hazards, CPSC recommends the following safety tips:
• Verify that furniture is stable on its own. For added security, anchor all entertainment units, TV stands, bookcases, shelving and bureaus to the wall or floor using appropriate hardware, such as brackets, screws, or toggles.
• Place televisions on sturdy furniture appropriate for the size of the TV or on a low-rise base.
• Push the TV as far back as possible from the front of its stand.
• Place electrical cords out of a child’s reach, and teach children not to play with the cords.
• Remove items from the top of the TV and furniture that might tempt kids to climb, such as toys and remote controls.
The manufacturers of the furniture have a duty to provide methods of attaching some types of furniture to walls and to also issue warnings to purchasers of the hazards which are known to the industry. Our firm has handled a number of cases where persons were killed in incidents involving the tip over of furniture and appliances. One such case involved a woman who was trapped under a kitchen oven that was top-heavy and thus unstable. When attempting to open the oven door the stove tipped over and pinned her underneath. She died from her injuries. If you want more information you can contact Kendall Dunson at 800-898-2034.
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