Falling furniture: How you can prevent death or serious injury to child

25,000 children injured each year

INDIANAPOLIS - One child dies every two weeks from falling furniture, but it's completely and easily preventable.

The day Meghan Beck was born was one of the happiest days of her mother's life. But the bright-eyed girl died at age 3 when her dresser fell on top of her.

In addition to the deaths, 25,000 children are injured each year by falling furniture.


Heather Hess, of Indianapolis, knows personally about two babies who did not survive falling furniture accidents, and she had a close call with her daughter, Taylee, involving a small dresser.

"She pulled the drawers out, and it fell on top of her legs," Hess said. "It was a good thing it was a small piece of furniture, because if it was a big one, it would have hurt her really bad."

Dr. Louis Profeta, an ER physician at St. Vincent Hospital, said the danger is real, especially with TVs becoming larger and sleeker.

"A lot of times, you have Xboxes attached to those items, so it makes it easier for a toddler to grab onto that cord and pull the TV over on themselves," Profeta said. "It's enough to critically injure a child, a toddler, that's for certain."

Profeta suggested tacking down all cords and securing a plasma TV to a wall with straps or brackets.

Bookshelves and dressers should be attached to walls using the mounting brackets that often come with furniture.

After her scare, Heather made sure all her furniture was secured. It cost her nothing and took about three minutes to install the brackets that came with her bookshelves.


Spending those few extra minutes can provide peace of mind.

"It's the most horrible part of being an emergency room physician, telling their parent a child has been killed," Profeta said. "There's nothing worse."

Other overlooked dangers in homes include exercise equipment, treadmills and stationary bicycles that can cause serious friction burns to children or worse.

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