What’s wrong with this picture?
Let’s start with that TV. It’s up high on the dresser. A TV on a dresser or any tall piece of furniture is a recipe for disaster when you have an active toddler or young child in the house. And it doesn’t matter what kind of TV – large tube TVs, flat screens, big or small consoles. Instead, try to place your TV on a sturdy, low base.
Children like to climb. (Just look at the boy in the picture.) See the remote control on top of the TV? A child knows the remote turns on the TV. Kids are likely to try to get to it – or to try to reach any toys on or near the TV as well – any way they can.
So, what’s wrong with that? Too many times, the furniture and the TV fall over onto children, killing them. In fact, one child dies every two weeks when a TV, furniture or appliance falls on him or her. In addition, each year, more than 22,000 children 8 years old or younger are taken to the hospital with injuries.
Here are some real incidents that have happened this year:
- On March 14, a 2-year-old boy in Barrington Hills, Ill., died when the dresser in his bedroom fell on him. (WGN-TV)
- In March, an 11-month old child died when a television fell off of a cabinet onto his head. The 11-month-old was watching television with his dad and 2-year-old brother. The 2-year-old bumped against the cabinet, causing the TV to fall.
- In January, an 18-month-old girl died when her 3-year-old brother climbed up a four drawer dresser. Both the dresser and TV fell on the girl.
Knowing what you’ve learned so far, take a look at that dresser. It seems stable enough, but don’t be fooled – it is not stable. That same dresser pictured here actually fell over when a young child pulled out all the drawers. As part of your childproofing, it’s important to anchor all furniture to the wall or the floor.
As for those TVs, CPSC recommends anchoring them or strapping them to the wall. CPSC staff has found anchors and straps for furniture and flat-screen and tube TVs for sale at retail and hardware stores.