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Securing Furniture to Prevent Tip-Over Accidents

The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a warning to parents, caregivers, hotels, resorts, businesses and other establishments. Responsible parties must make sure that they secure, anchor and stabilize TVs, furniture and other large appliances. By securing these devices, we can help to reduce the risk of tip-over accidents. Oftentimes, our little ones are using tables and dressers to climb to the devices and when a tip-over accident results — it can be tragic!

Our Martin County injury attorneys understand that nearly 350 people were killed in the last decade because of these kinds of tip-over accidents. Thousands more are injured every year.

More than 80 percent of the victims in these accidents were kids who were under the age of 9. Just last year, we recorded the highest-ever number of fatalities from tip-over incidents. There were more than 40 recorded in just one year. That’s 10 more fatalities than from the previous year. Officials suspect that this number could increase as more reports trickle in.

“I urge parents to anchor their TVs, furniture and appliances and protect their children. It takes just a few minutes to do and it can save lives,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.

The news gets even worse. Officials with the CPSC also estimate that there are close to 45,000 people who are injured in these kinds of accidents every year, too. Close to 60 percent of these injuries occur to residents who are under the age of 18.

What Causes These Accidents? According to the most recent statistics, about half of the accidents that leave a resident with an injury are caused by falling furniture. The most common type of accident to cause death is when a television falls onto someone. These incidents account for more than 60 percent of all tip-over fatalities.

A child against a dresser is no fair match. It’s the same unfortunate match up when comparing a small child to a television or a wall unit. When children are lucky enough to survive these kinds of accidents, they’re oftentimes left with serious head injuries and other crush-related injuries. In more than 55 percent of the reported fatalities and close to 40 percent of the reported injuries, the child was actually hit in the head by the falling item.

A common problem in American households is that many families are making the move from those old-school, bulky televisions to the sleek flat screens. When families upgrade, the large TVs are usually moved to spare bedrooms and to children’s rooms. They are hardly every properly secured, increasing the risks for a tip-over accident. Recent statistics prove that most of these accidents did in fact happen in bedrooms — 40 percent in bedrooms and less than 20 percent in living or family rooms.

Tips to Prevent Tip-Over Accidents:

-Secure furniture to the floor or to the wall.

-Make sure that all televisions are on low, sturdy bases.

-Push TVs as far back into a dresser or table as possible.

-Keep toys, remotes and other child objects off of TV stands and away from furniture.

-Place cable and TV cords out of sight and out of reach.

-Supervise children in areas where these safety precautions have not been taken.

If you or your child has been injured, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC. Call for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case at 1-800-561-7777.

More Blog Entries:

Golf Cart Accident involving Rubio’s Daughter Highlights Risks, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, November 2, 2012

Trampolines: More Dangerous than Fun for Kids!, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, October 9, 2012

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