Preventing Accidental Injury.
KDHE Office of Communications
TOPEKA, Kan. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that between years 2000 and 2010 there were at least 245 deaths related to tip-over of furniture, televisions or appliances among children ages 8 years and under. Most of these deaths, 90 percent of them, involved children younger than 6. In 2011, the CPSC identified this issue as one of the top hidden home hazards.
“Kids can be seriously injured or killed as a result of climbing onto, falling against or pulling themselves up on shelves, bookcases, dressers, TV tables and other furniture,” says Cherie Sage, State Director of Safe Kids Kansas.
CPSC data also shows that between years 2008 and 2010 there were 22,000 injuries associated with product instability or tip-over involving children younger than 9. That number is more than half of all estimated instability and tip-over injuries between years 2008 and 2010.
Guidelines for preventing a tip-over:
Kids are also in danger of suffocation if they become accidentally trapped in a cabinet, toy chest or laundry machine; in 2007 alone there were 3,270 injuries to children ages 2 to 14 involving toy chests. Always supervise children around any confined space and keep the doors closed and locked. Toy chests that meet voluntary standards set by the CPSC are equipped with lid supports that hold the lid open in any position. The standards also call for ventilation holes to prevent suffocation. If you have a toy chest with a lid that doesn’t stay open, the CPSC recommends you remove the lid or install a spring-loaded lid support.
“These are not hazards that kill hundreds of children every year, like vehicle crashes or drowning, but they are so easy to prevent and the consequences can be so severe,” says Sage. “Don’t underestimate the possibility of a small child being crushed by unsteady furniture.”
On Nov. 1, 2007, Charlie Horn, a 2-year-old Kansas City boy, was killed when he attempted to climb a 30-inch dresser in his home. From this tragedy, the nonprofit organization Charlie’s House was born, focusing on reducing the number of accidental deaths and injuries of children around the home in Kansas and Missouri through education and safety demonstrations.
For more information about home safety, call 785-296-1223 or visit www.safekids.org and www.charlieshouse.org.
Visit us at www.safekidskansas.org and on Facebook.