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How to Prevent Fatal Tip-Over Injuries

| Aug 18, 2016 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

San Diego Wrongful Death Attorneys

Although parents do their best to make the home safe for their children, it is challenging to completely eliminate the risk of an accident or injury. For a small child, the weight of a dresser or a television can be deadly. However, according to a recent news report by The Philadelphia Inquirer, experts say tip-overs are almost entirely preventable, with more attentiveness, government regulation, and involvement and cooperation from manufacturers.

You can take steps to make your home safer. Follow all manufacturer’s safety instructions and when possible, keep all heavy and dangerous objects out of your child’s reach. Keep yourself updated about any recalls that are issued for the child and infant products that you own. If an item in your household is recalled, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to repair or replace it. Your parental vigilance can save your child’s life.

This became a hot topic when IKEA issued a safety warning for its popular Malm dressers. The children’s dressers, which are available in both three, four, and six-drawer models, have been responsible for two children’s deaths in the United States. In both cases, the dressers tipped over and crushed the victims. IKEA and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have also received 14 reports of tip-over accidents involving Malm dressers. In four of these reports, the child was injured. Since 1989, IKEA has received three other reports of children’s deaths caused by accidents involving their products.

Fatal Tip-Over Accident Statistics

In the United States, approximately 38,000 people are treated in emergency rooms for injuries caused by tip-over accidents every year. Of these victims, more than half (21,000, or 57 percent) were children under the age of 18.

From 2000 to 2013, 430 people died from injuries sustained in tip-over accidents; 360 of these fatality victims, approximately 84 percent, were 10 years old or younger. Two thirds of the reported tip-over accidents occurred in residential settings and of the fatalities, 81 percent happened in homes.

In 56 percent of the reported tip-over cases, the object that fell on the victim was a piece of furniture. In 41 percent of these cases, the injury was caused by a combination of an appliance, such as a television, and a piece of furniture falling onto the victim. Four percent of reported cases involved only an appliance falling.

Prevent a Tip-Over Accident in Your Home

There are many ways you can prevent tip-over accidents in your home. The most effective way is to anchor all potential falling hazards to the wall. If you have a television that can be mounted on the wall, mount it securely beyond your child’s reach. For non-mounted televisions, be sure to keep them in pieces of furniture designed for television sets. You can even purchase furniture anchors and install them on your television and its stand yourself to prevent tip-overs.

Dressers can be secured to the wall as well. If you purchase a dresser that does not come with furniture anchors, you can purchase anchors at any hardware store.

Be aware of what you place on high shelves and tall pieces of furniture. Placing a heavy piece of equipment on a high shelf might seem like a safe place to keep it away from a curious child’s grasp, but the item would actually be much safer in a secure area on the floor, such as in a closet or in your garage. Know which objects could be tempting for your child and keep these off high shelves and furniture where he or she might attempt to climb and reach them. Despite repeatedly telling your child not to climb on furniture, many items are simply too tempting for him or her to ignore. Remove this temptation to keep your child safe.

San Diego Personal Injury Lawyers

If your child has been involved in a tip-over accident, know that you can possibly receive financial compensation for the costs associated with the incident. The compassionate San Diego personal injury attorneys at Martinez & Schill LLP can explain this process further and, if you decide to file a personal injury claim, handle your case with sensitivity and a drive to get you the money you deserve. Do not wait to begin working with our firm. Call us today at 619-512-5995 to schedule your free legal consultation with an experienced member of our team.