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Toddler Killed When Dresser Falls On Him

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AKRON (WWJ/AP) - Authorities in Michigan’s Thumb region say a 3-year-old boy was killed when a dresser overturned on him.

Tuscola County Sheriff Lee Teschendorf says the accident happened around 2:14 p.m. Monday at a home in Akron. That’s about 20 miles east of Bay City.

The Bay City Times and the Huron Daily Tribune in Bad Axe say Teschendorf didn’t release the names of the child or the family.

“This is not the first such incident to happen in Tuscola County,” Teschendorf said in a release. He also urges every parent to watch for this sort of event that occurs when very young children are around tall or top-heavy furniture.

An autopsy showed that the toddler’s death was caused by injuries sustained in the accident.

In September, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that between 2000 and 2010, CPSC staff received reports of 245 tip-over-related deaths involving children 8-years-old and younger.

The CPSC says more than 90 percent of the incidents involved children 5 years old and younger. In more than half of the 245 fatalities (56 percent), the child was crushed by the weight of the television, furniture, or appliance. The majority of these children suffered fatal injuries to the head (67 percent).

The commission also says that more than 22,000 children 8 years old and younger are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year (2008-2010) for injuries related to instability or tipover of televisions, furniture, and appliances. And like the fatalities, a majority of these injuries (56 percent) are to the head.

The most common tip-over scenarios involve toddlers who have climbed onto, fallen against or pulled themselves up on furniture. About 70 percent of children’s fatalities (169 incidents) involved falling televisions, and 27 percent (65 incidents) involved only furniture falling.

Of the 135 child fatalities where furniture fell by itself or fell with a TV, the majority of incidents (64 percent) involved a chest, dresser, or a bureau. Often, these pieces of furniture have drawers that children can use to climb.

To prevent tragedies follow these safety tips in any home where children live:

  • Anchor furniture to the wall or the floor.
  • Place TVs on sturdy, low bases.
  • Or, anchor the furniture and the TV on top of it, and push the TV as far back on the furniture as possible.
  • Keep remote controls, toys, and other items that might attract children off TV stands or furniture.
  • Keep TV and/or cable cords out of reach of children.
  • Make sure freestanding kitchen ranges and stoves are installed with anti-tip brackets.
  • Supervise children in rooms where these safety tips have not been followed.

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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