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Data Shows Unstable Furniture Poses Deadly Danger to Children

Oct 1, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP It seems that some large furniture such as TVs, chests, armoires, and appliances can tip over and crush children, causing injury or death.  Last year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) identified this tipping problem as one of the “top five hidden home hazards” and a new data report from CPSC staff reveals that at least 180 tip-over related deaths occurred between 2000 and 2006, with 80 percent involving children under the age of 10. The CPSC report also indicates that between 2005 and 2006 there were at least 40 reports of television or television and furniture related such tip-over deaths.

The reported deaths and injuries tend to occur when children climb onto, fall against, or pull themselves up on television stands, shelves, bookcases, dressers, desks, chests, and stove oven doors.  Likewise, televisions placed on top of furniture can tip over and cause a child to suffer traumatic and sometimes fatal injuries.  “Tip-over related deaths continue to be a problem.  These tragedies can be prevented by taking precautions,” said Acting Chairman Nancy Nord.  To prevent these tragedies, the CPSC recommends the following steps:

Ensure furniture is stable on its own and anchor all entertainment units, TV stands, bookcases, shelving, and bureaus to the wall or floor using appropriate hardware, such as brackets, screws, or toggles for added security.

Place televisions on sturdy furniture appropriate for the size of the TV or on a low-rise base and push the TV as far back as possible from the front of its stand.

Place electrical cords out of a child's reach, and teach children not to play with the cords and remove items from the top of the TV and furniture that might tempt children to climb, such as toys and remote controls.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press is reporting that the CPSC is recalling almost 49,000 Chinese-made TV stands sold at Best Buy stores and other locations around the country.  The TV stands were manufactured by King Pao Enterprise Co. Ltd. and Studio Link Corp. Ltd. in China and were distributed in the U.S. by Studio RTA, of Pico Rivera, California.  The stands were recalled because the furniture does not meet industry standards to prevent such tipping injuries.  Four models are involved and have two or three glass shelves and include "E Series" Model 060331; "Fierro" Model 402875; "Madison DLP" Model 060176; and "Madison 3000" Model 060090.

Studio RTA is offering customers a free repair kit to remedy any malfunctions. Consumers should immediately remove the TV from the stand and contact Studio RTA to receive a free repair kit.

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