Monday, February 13th, 2012
The Chicago Tribune reports that a two-year-old girl is in serious condition after being injured by a falling television and dresser last week. She is the fifth child in the Chicago area to be struck by a falling television since October.
The toddler was trying to climb up the dresser when the television fell on her, police reports said. The child’s mother was in another room with her son when she heard a crash. The child was rushed to Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago, and her condition was upgraded from critical to serious over the weekend.
But in the four other cases in the Chicago area, all four children died of their injuries. There’s been a wave of similar accidents nationwide: Hospitals saw 40 percent increase in the number of children treated at emergency rooms for “furniture tip-over” injuries from 1990 to 2007, said Dr. Gary Smith, president of the Child Injury Prevention Alliance and director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, in a previous Tribune article.
From the Tribune:
Televisions account for nearly half of those cases, and young children are the most common victims, Smith said. Nine out of 10 children killed in tip-over accidents from 2000 to 2010 were 5 or younger, according to a study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
“They are actually, unfortunately, common. There is a real need to do something about this,” Smith said.
There appears to be no clear reason for the rise in injuries, Smith said, though it is theorized that more children are being injured by televisions because people tend to put flat-screen televisions in places that are easier for children to reach.
To keep chidren safe, Smith recommends securing all heavy furniture, including televisions and dressers, to walls with attachments such as straps and anchors.
Click here for more from Parents.com on keeping your toddler safe at home.
Image: TV on dresser via Shutterstock.
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Monday, June 13th, 2011
The U.S. government’s National Toxicology Program released a report on June 10 identifying formaldehyde, the laboratory preservative that is also used in products from shampoos to furniture, as a human carcinogen.
According to the Report on Carcinogens (RoC), “Prior editions of the RoC had listed formaldehyde as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen, and following a rigorous scientific review, formaldehyde is now reassigned to the category known to be a human carcinogen.”
This news may be of concern to parents because of its common presence in home building materials from kitchen cabinets to nursery furniture that’s made with pressboard and particleboard (the resins used to hold these boards together commonly contain formaldehyde.). In 2009, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released a report identifying traces of formaldehyde in a number of cosmetic products as well, including Johnson’s iconic baby shampoo. There is some debate over this claim, and particularly over the levels of exposure a child would have from any given shampoo or soap product.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics lists cosmetic ingredients that are chemical markers for formaldehyde:
Avoid using products that list ingredients that may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, including sodium myreth sulfate, PEG compounds and chemicals that include the clauses “xynol,” “ceteareth” and “oleth.” Similarly, avoid products that contain formaldehye-releasing preservatives, including quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea and diazolidinyl urea.
And parents who want to avoid exposure from furniture products, can start by following these recommendations from the RoC:
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Use lower-emitting pressed wood products, such as those that are labeled CARB (California Air Resources Board) Phase 1 or Phase 2 compliant, or made with ULEF (ultra-low-emitting formaldehyde) or NAF (no-added formaldehyde) resins.
Ask manufacturers about products.
Increase ventilation, particularly after bringing new sources of formaldehyde into the home. Open windows and use fans to bring in fresh air.
Use air conditioning and dehumidifiers to maintain moderate temperature and reduce humidity levels.