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Falling TVs are injuring and killing small children

The federal government’s Consumer Product Safety Commission says nearly 12,000 children are treated in hospitals for injuries every year from falling TVs. (WBMA)

Keisha Bowles shows us a blanket with photos of her daughter Chance. She says Chance was a playful, funny child who never met a stranger.

But photos and videos are all that Keisha has to remember her daughter.

Five years ago this month, Chance died after she climbed up a dresser with a TV on top. They fell on her. She was just two years old at the time.

“When she was climbing up, the weight, then the weight of the TV and the dresser just fell over on her,” said Bowles.

Thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths

The federal government’s Consumer Product Safety Commission says nearly 12,000 children are treated in hospitals for injuries every year from falling TVs.

More than 300 kids have died over a recent 15-year period.

Most of the accidents happened after the child climbed up a chest, bureau or dresser with a TV on top. They fell on the child because they weren’t anchored to the wall.

Most accidents involved those big, bulky TVs that are in tens of millions of homes across the country.

“As families are upgrading and buying the new flat panel televisions ? and they’re placing them in family rooms or living rooms ? the older, bulkier TVs are being moved into children’s bedrooms and play areas,” said Consumer Product Safety Commission spokesperson Kim Dulic.

Falling TVs can generate 2,000 to 12,000 pounds of force

Dulic says those larger TVs can fall with the force of up to 12,000 pounds. Lighter flat screen TVs can fall with a force of up to 2,000 pounds.

Both types of televisions are dangerous for young children. The CPSC says unanchored TVs and furniture are among the top dangers in the home.

“This is a very serious hazard,” Dulic said. “You’re talking about some pretty heavy furniture or televisions falling on very young, small children.”

Keisha’s father, Zarano, and her brother, Darrick, are her support system. They help her deal with the loss of her daughter every single day.

“You’re not supposed to bury your children,” said Bowles. “And for that to happen, your life is never the same, ever. And then your family’s life is not the same. And the people that met your child, they’re not the same because they can remember the kind of child they were. And then for that person to be gone. It doesn’t make sense.”

Keisha is now a child safety advocate. She set up a foundation called “Another Day, Another Chance.” She’s part of the federal government’s “Anchor It” campaign.

She warns parents about the dangers of tipping TV’s—and the need to anchor them, and furniture, to the wall.

Keisha tells Chance’s story every chance she gets — to keep others from going through her pain.

“I’m proud of her every day,” said Bowles. “I always knew that she would be special. I didn’t think that it would be this way. I knew that she was going to have an impact in this world. She did. She did.”

Preventing accidents

Keep in mind that children are attracted to what’s on TV.

They’re attracted to remote controls and they like to climb on furniture.

Anti-tip straps cost less than $20 each.

You can buy them at major retailers.

You fasten the strap to the back of your TV and furniture and anchor both to the wall.

You can learn more about preventive measures at Anchorit.gov.

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