KANSAS CITY, Mo. —A 4-year-old boy who suffered a serious injury in Stilwell when a television fell on him is among many children hurt or killed in such accidents.
"It's more common than anyone thinks possible," said Daina Hodges, outreach coordinator for Safe Kids Kansas.
Between 2000 and 2006, there were at least 180 deaths related to tipped-over furniture, televisions or appliances, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates.
Most of those deaths — 80 percent — involved children under age 10, and in 2007 the commission said such accidents were among the top five hidden home hazards.
Televisions, especially, have become major hazards as they evolved from big machines that sat on floors into lighter and more unstable pieces of electronics, Hodges said.
It is not clear exactly how the boy was injured Thursday night in Stilwell. Johnson County deputies said an older-model, heavy television fell screen-side down on his head as he climbed up onto a counter. Authorities said he was in critical condition after the accident, and there was no word on his condition Friday.
They said nothing about the accident was criminal. Adults were home, and the boy had been watching television with his brother.
Among safety tips in a news release from Safe Kids Kansas:
* Teach children not to climb or jump on furniture, and push the television as far back as possible from the front of its stand.
* Fasten unstable or top-heavy furniture or appliances to a wall using brackets, screws or wall straps.
* Keep heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers, and don't keep remote controls, candy or other tempting items on unstable stands or tables.
* Tie up loose electrical cords so a child pulling or tripping on them does not pull a television or other appliance off a stand.