A child dies every two weeks in tipover accidents; feds issue alert

Furniture, TVs and appliances tipping over led to the deaths of nearly 200 young children over an eight year period -- about one every two weeks -- prompting the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue an alert to parents to check for potential hazards in their homes.

More than 90% of the kids killed were 5-years-old or younger, the CPSC said of its analysis of data. collected between 2000 and 2008. In addition to the deaths, about 16,000 emergency room visits a year for young children are attributed to tip-over accidents.

"Large TVs and unstable furniture can be a deadly combination. Taking simple, low-cost steps to secure furniture and TVs can save lives," CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said in a statement. "Parents need to know about this hidden danger and take action now."

The accidents mainly happen, the CPSC said, when children pull on TV stands, shelves or other furniture. If the items are not secure they can topple onto the child.

The CPSC offers following tips to help prevent these kind of tragic accidents:
  • Make sure furniture is stable
  • As an added measure, use anchors to hold furniture to the wall or floor
  • Put TVs on sturdy bases that are lower to the ground
  • Be sure the TV is as far back on the TV stand as possible
  • Keep electrical cords out of reach and explain that they are not to be played with
  • Check that free-standing ranges and stoves have anti-tipping brackets

You can also read a 2008 study of tip-over incidents and the safety alert.
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