-- Last year, a dresser fell in Kim Lichtenstein’s 4-year-old son, sending the boy to the hospital.
Luckily he was alright, but many other children haven't been so lucky. Too often, when a tall piece of furniture tips over, it can end in tragedy, crushing a child.
Unsecured televisions and large pieces of furniture kill a child every two weeks, and send a child to the hospital every 24 minutes. Between 2000 and 2013, 84 percent of the 430 deaths reported to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission involved children younger than 10, according to the CPSC.
The situation has prompted experts to issue an urgent warning for parents and other adults to properly anchor furniture and TVs.
“The newer televisions, even though they are lighter, if they are not anchored properly they still have 2,000 pounds of pressure, and when you are talking about a little kid that is enormous,” CPSC commissioner Marietta Robinson said.
The accidents are wholly preventable by following two easy steps, according to experts: First, anchor tall pieces of furniture directly to the wall, especially if there’s anything heavy on top of the furniture -- such as a TV. Second: Secure flat screen TVs with an anti-tip strap, which connects the device directly to the furniture upon which it rests.
The straps “can be purchased in any hardware store," Robinson said, adding that "they are as easy and as simple of a device as you can come up with."
But the best thing to do is to keep TVs and monitors off tall furniture completely. Experts say people should hang flat-screen TVs on walls or strap them to low TV stands.
“Make sure your television, if it is going to be placed on a piece of furniture, that it is a piece furniture that is meant for a television,” Robinson said.