By Tiffany Rowe, Seek Visibility
It’s a dangerous world out there for small children, and many of those dangers are right here at home. Every two weeks in the United States, a child dies after being crushed, trapped, or struck by falling televisions and heavy furniture. Seven children have been killed by falling Ikea MALM dressers, leading the company to recall the product. Customers may return their dangerous dressers for a full refund, or receive a wall-anchoring kit which the company will install, for free, upon request. Following the seventh death due to falling MALM dressers, Ikea has removed the product from stores.
Are Your Children Safe?
Even if you don’t have one of the recalled IKEA dressers, your children could still be at risk. The proliferation of large, heavy, flat-screen TVs has introduced a new hazard to our homes – 70 percent of children killed by falling furniture are killed by falling televisions or television-related furniture. Twenty-six percent are killed by falling tables, dressers, and chests, and four percent are killed by falling large appliances, like stoves or refrigerators.
How do large appliances and furniture fall on children? Often, it’s because children are climbing on these objects, which aren’t designed to be climbed on and may topple. Chests and dressers are particularly dangerous because drawers can slide out, trapping children. The majority of children killed by falling furniture are crushed by the weight of the item crashing down on them. Others are pinned, unable to breathe, or are struck in a fatal way. Forty-five percent of children killed by falling furniture die in the bedroom.
That’s what happened to Ted McGee, a Minnesota toddler who passed away after being crushed by a falling Ikea MALM dresser. Ted’s mother put him down for a nap, but when the 22-month-old got out of bed and tried to climb the unsecured MALM dresser in his bedroom, his mother didn’t hear the unit fall. It was only 20 minutes later, when she went back into the bedroom to check on her son, that Ted’s mother discovered what had happened to him. Only 20 minutes – that’s how long it took to change this family’s lives forever.
Anchor heavy Furniture
The best way to keep your children safe from falling furniture is to make sure that chests, dressers, tables, TVs, appliances, and other heavy furniture items in your home are secure. Remember, children like to climb on dressers, tables, and other furniture. A moment’s horseplay could cause your children to
bump into the TV, sending it crashing down on top of them. Large pieces of furniture should be anchored into the wall studs with brackets to eliminate the risk of toppling. Use drawer latches on dressers, chests, and bureaus, so that children can’t pull out the drawers and use them for climbing. Avoid placing heavy TVs and other items on top of furniture. Mount large televisions on the wall instead; but make sure to anchor the mounting kit into the studs.
Has Falling Furniture Harmed Your Child?
What if your child has already been hurt by falling furniture, such as the Ikea MALM dresser? Having an injured child can lead to steep medical bills, missed time from work, and even ongoing expenses if your child is permanently disabled. Will your child be able to work when he or she grows up?
If your child was killed by falling furniture, you may need to replace lost wages, pay medical bills, and cover funeral expenses, as well as pay for grief counseling for yourself and other family members. You and your spouse may want to take time off work to cope with your loss. As the victim of corporate negligence, you deserve compensation for these losses. Call our Texas injury attorney now to find out what we can do to help your family get the compensation you deserve.
Falling furniture kills a child every two weeks in this country, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Every parent should be made aware of the dangers of falling furniture, so that they can protect their children from this common hazard. Anchor your dressers, chests, and other heavy items so that they can’t tip over. Your children’s lives may depend on it.
Tiffany Rowe is a marketing administrator who assists in contributing resourceful content throughout the World Wide Web. Tiffany prides herself in her strong ability to provide high quality content that readers will find valuable. She enjoys connecting with other bloggers and collaborating for exclusive content for various niches. You can often find Tiffany looking up new D.I.Y projects for the weekend or attempting to teach her pup new tricks. Favorite quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou