Doctors issue warning after dresser falls on toddlers

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Parents across the country are cringing over what has become a viral video. A dresser falling on two toddlers.

The boys are okay, but doctors are warning parents to take precautions.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says over 200 kids have died from furniture or televisions falling on them since the year 2000, including a toddler in Kokomo being killed over the summer when a television fell.

Doctors say the incidents are completely avoidable.

“This is a health issue for little ones,” said Dr. Thomas Rouse, a pediatric surgeon at Riley Hospital for Children. “If the dresser is not secured to the wall this can happen and the child basically uses the dresser as a ladder to get to the top or whatever he or she is reaching for.”

Dr. Rouse treats a handful of these cases every year.

“These can cause devastating, life-threatening injuries,” he said.

The CPSC says 22,000 children, aged 8 and younger are treated every year for these types of injuries.

But the fix is as simple as a fabric strap attached to the wall.

“What you want to do is, when you’re planning for your baby when you’re planning that nursery make sure that one of the first things you do when you put that dresser in that room is to secure it to the wall,” said Cara Fast, the manager at The Riley Safety Store.

Everything sold in the store is designed to keep children safe at home.

But she says the straps have to be strong enough, usually two straps per piece of furniture.

“Parents need to pay close attention to that, don’t just put one of these on and think it’s going to hold, make sure you know what furniture you have, how tall it is and how many straps you need to use,” she said.

You can also go for an old-school L-bracket. Which ever you choose, Jack Nelson of Central Ace Hardware says make sure it’s properly secured to the wall.

“Preferably hit studs in the wall to have it more secured. You can use anchors, using the appropriate anchor for your drywall or for plaster whichever kind of wall you might have,” he said.

You can also put heavier items towards the bottom of the dresser. It’s also advised that you mount any televisions to the wall.

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