Safety experts warn about the dangers of heavy TVs and furniture

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by Mike Watkiss

Bio | Email | Follow: @mikewatkiss3TV

Posted on November 13, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 14 at 10:59 AM

Experts have a waring about a common household danger that could be lurking in your own home.

Big TVs and heavy furniture make for a greater chance of “tip-over” accidents, which can trap, injure, and even kill children.

Valley mom Heather Poole lost her young son Brayden to just such an accident.

“I love my son. And now all I have left of him is an urn of ashes. And I don’t want other families to go through this,” says Poole.

Last New Year’s Eve, Poole lived out every parent’s worst nightmare, when her three year old son Brayden suffered an unimaginable accident.

"In the middle of the night, he had climbed up his dresser to mess with his television. He pulled both of them down on top of him, crushing his skull and killing him instantly," Poole says.

Safety experts say that across the nation, child injuries and deaths related to furniture tip-overs are on the rise.  A recent Consumer Product Safety Commission report announced that a child is killed every two weeks in the United States, due to instability or tip-over of furniture, televisions, or appliances. 

Televisions are involved in 70 percent of fatalities.  Additionally, more than 22,000 children are treated in emergency rooms every year for injuries related to instability or tip-overs.

“We miss him so much. His big blue eyes and smile made him the spotlight wherever he was,” says his mother. “Families need to protect their children, today.”

Poole has started the “Brace It For Brayden” campaign, to promote awareness about the dangers, and to show how easy and inexpensive it can be to brace and secure heavy furniture.

“You don’t want that to be the last image you have of your child. Because it is one that never goes away," Poole says.

Increased sales of television sets may be a factor in the rise of these accidents, as families upgrade to more energy-efficient models. “The holidays are coming,” says Angelica Baker, Coordinator at the Injury Prevention Center at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, “and between holiday sales and visitors, many homes will have new furniture or televisions, with small children present.

Here are some safety strategies you can put to use in your own home:

• Effectively anchor furniture to prevent tip-over injuries
• Choose furniture which has a low, sturdy base.
• Child-proof the area, looking from a child’s eye-level
• Develop supervision techniques for holiday visits
 

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