Tipped-over furniture, TVs can kill

Dec. 13, 2012 at 7:20 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- More than 43,000 people were injured and 41 died last year due to furniture or televisions not anchored in the wall and tipping over, officials say.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission urged parents of young children to anchor and stabilize their televisions, furniture and appliances to prevent tip-over related incidents. The vast majority of the deaths occurred in children ages 9 and younger, but adults and the elderly have also been injured and killed.

Often the accidents occur when a child reaches for a toy, TV or game remote, or other desired item and use dressers and tables as climbing devices, but pull the bottom drawer of tall cabinet and press down and the whole piece of furniture can tip over if it is not anchored to the wall, officials said.

"We know that low-cost anchoring devices are effective in preventing tip-over incidents," Inez Tenenbaum, head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said in a statement. "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."

Tenenbaum recommends the following safety measures:

-- Anchor furniture to the wall or the floor.

-- Place TVs on sturdy, low bases, or anchor the furniture and the TV on top the base, and push the TV as far back on the furniture as possible.

-- Keep remote controls, toys, and other items that might attract children off of TV stands or furniture.

-- Keep TV and/or cable cords out of reach of children.

-- Make sure freestanding kitchen ranges and stoves are installed with anti-tip brackets.

-- Supervise children in rooms where these safety tips have not been followed.

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