You just purchased a large-screen television and cannot wait to set it up. A low chest of drawers in your living room is the perfect spot for your new appliance. However, did you think what might happen if you have a small child in the house? As you know, children are curious and are always exploring their surroundings. Like many Pennsylvania parents, you might have taken steps to childproof your home without realizing the dangers that heavy furniture and appliances present.
You may have heard about the tragic incident from a few weeks ago, during which a toddler suffered fatal injuries when a full-length mirror fell on top of her at a Payless ShoeSource store. Initial investigations indicated that the company had not securely mounted the mirror to the wall. Heavy home furnishings pose the same risks if owners do not properly secure them. The following types of furniture and appliances, found in nearly every home across the country, may seriously or fatally injure your child if they topple over:
- Major appliances, such as television sets, home computers or microwave ovens
- Tall or top-heavy dressers, cabinets and tables
- Large, heavy decorative items, such as ceramic or stone vases, urns, mirrors or picture frames
- Fish tanks and terrariums
According to the National Mutual Insurance Company, a child is seen in the emergency room every 45 minutes in the U.S. because of a television set tipping over on top of him or her. You can significantly reduce the chances of this happening by securing your TV and other large appliances and furnishings to the wall with brackets. Keep heavy items off tables or cabinets, where they might tip over and fall onto your child. Make sure appliances on countertops are set well back out of reach, and do not let electrical cords dangle where your child might pull them.
If your child goes to a daycare, preschool or play date at a friend's home, it is the property owner's responsibility to take the same safety measures, or they may be liable for an injury.