Falling Television Kills 16-Month-Old Girl

She climbed on a dresser, which tipped with TV

A 16-month-girl died Tuesday afternoon in Oceanside after a dresser tipped and the large television inside fell on top of her, Oceanside police confirmed Wednesday.

The toddler was transported by air to Rady Children's Hospital after the accident, which occurred at about 2:30 p.m. on the 700 block of Sugar Pine Street, said Oceanside police Lt. Leonard Mata.

She was at the home with her siblings and grandparents when she climbed on the dresser, causing both it and the television to fall on top of her, causing fatal blunt force injuries to the head, according to the Medical Examiners's Office.

NBCSanDiego's media partner, The North County Times, reported that the television weighed about 40 pounds and fell about four feet, citing emergency radio transmissions.

Sue Cox, trauma services director at Rady Children's Hospital, said the trauma team is seeing an increasing number of children injured by falling televisions or furniture.

"Circumstances vary," Cox said in a media release, "but in most of the cases it involved the child attempting to climb to get to a television and either pulling the TV off of the furniture or more often pulling both the furniture and television onto themselves."

About 8,000-10,000 children receive emergency hospital treatment due to tip-over injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Rady's Children Hospital offered tips for parents on how to prevent such accidents:

  • Use an anchor and/or angle brace to secure furniture to the wall.
  • Place your television on a low piece of furniture as far back as it will go.
  • Ensure the television stand is sturdy, is designed for and can handle the weight of the TV and does not easily tip over.
  • Anchor your TV to the wall with an appliance strap.
  • Clear your TV and stand of any items that children might try to climb and reach, including toys, movies and books.
  • Do not place a VCR and/or DVD player on top of the television where a child may attempt to climb to access.
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