Preventing TV and furniture tip over deaths and injuries

Many families are spending a lot of time at other people's homes this summer for play dates and vacations.

But there could be a serious hazard when it comes to furniture and TVs. Both can tip over and injure - or even kill a child.

The government reports that since 2000, 267 children have died just from TVs tipping over.

And 11,000 others were injured, half of whom were under 3-years-old.

One early morning, Sylvia Santiago's daughter, Janiya, crawled out of bed and into the next room.

"The next thing I know I heard the TV coming down. So I immediately picked this huge TV up and just threw it," said Sylvia.

But it was too late. The toddler died.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns about putting a TV on a dresser or other furniture a child can tip over.

"And it's not just the older tube TVs that can fall over. The newer larger flat panel TVs can also be a danger," said Jim Wilcox of Consumer Reports.

And their pedestals or "feet" may not fit old TV stands, so you must secure TVs.

For example, a 50-inch flat screen can be strapped onto the media console since the console is too heavy for a child to pull over.

"Make sure that the stand or furniture is sturdy and appropriate for the size and weight of the TV and place the set as far back as you can on the stand. And if you're putting a new TV on an old TV stand make sure that the legs or pedestals don't extend over the edges like this one does," said Wilcox.

Also anchor the TV to the furniture, and if the furniture could tip over, attach it to the wall.

"I now have an almost two year old son who will never know who his sister is. Strap your televisions down. Strap your furniture down," said Sylvia.

Furniture like bookcases and dressers can tip over, even without a TV on top.

Action News told you about the Lichtenstein family's close call last summer, when their son's dresser came crashing down.

"You can just see, there it goes. Hudson was pinned right here, this is where Hudson was with the drawers on top of him," said Hudson's mom.

Fortunately, Hudson Lichtenstein was okay.

But lesson learned - furniture must also be anchored to the walls behind it.

For more information, visit the CPSC website.
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