Alabama Child Injuries Caused by Falling Objects and TV’s
Alabama Premises Liability Attorneys Addresses Tip Over Hazards to Children
It seems every other day or so there’s a sad article or story about a baby or toddler killed or seriously injured by a falling television or piece of furniture. The Consumer Product and Safety Commission has been concerned about these “falling object” or “tipover” accidents for a number of years, particularly with regard to big TV’s and furniture. In just a matter of seconds, a toddler can shove a piece of furniture over or pull on the cord of a flat-screen TV to a tipping point. It is critical that parents perform a full assessment of any heavy objects in the home that may be a potential hazard to young children.
According to the Consumer Product and Safety Commission (CPSC), a child is injured every 24 minutes from falling televisions or furniture. Worse, a toddler is fatally injured once every two weeks from a tip-over accident. Every year, more than 22,000 children under 8 years are treated in emergency rooms for injuries caused by unstable tv’s, appliances and furniture…the majority of which are to the head. It is important that furniture and appliance manufacturers make products that are reasonably safe and stable for the homeowners who have kids in the home.
A recent recall by IKEA illustrates the need for stable furniture and products. The CPSC announced that IKEA is recalling over 27 million dressers and chests due to concerns about tip over accidents. In several reported incidents, children were either pinned or crushed by the furniture when it tipped over on them. As a result of the increasing number of “tip over” child injuries and deaths, IKEA is urging consumers to secure the furniture to the wall by use of free wall-anchoring kits.
As a result of the increasing number of Alabama child injuries due to falling objects, tv’s and furniture, here are several recommendations for homeowners with small children:
a. Remove any and all furniture and televisions that represent a fall or tip over hazard. This may detract from the decor and look of the home but better safe than sorry.
b. Thoroughly inspect storage areas, garages and basements where old tv’s and unsafe furniture may be stored. Secure, isolate or remove any potential fall or tipover hazards.
c. If you choose to allow the furniture to remain, secure all potential hazards with anchor bolts into the wall.
d. Place televisions on sturdy tables and push them as far back as possible (70% of fatalities involve televisions).
e. At a minimum, for smaller toddlers and creeping infants, isolate the furniture and televisions with gates or barriers.
f. When buying household items in the future, always assess the potential purchase in the context of safety for the child, not just the item’s utility and usefulness.
g. If the above safety measures are not in place, make sure adult supervision is available.
Finally, it is important to remember that child injuries caused by falling heavy objects is not limited to the home. Alabama premises liability law requires store and business owners to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition for shoppers and invitees. This includes making sure that aisles and shelves not harbor unstable or fall-prone hazards to children. In the event of a death or injury to a child, the premises owner can be liable for resulting injuries caused by their negligence in failing to secure or remove tip-over hazards. Other potential premises that may be home to fall hazards include churches, day care centers and entertainment spots such as skating rinks and child “play areas.”
Call us today to speak with a Birmingham personal injury lawyer.