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February 1, 2013

*****CONSUMER ALERT*****CONSUMER ALERT*****
MADIGAN ALERTS CONSUMERS TO DANGERS OF FURNITURE TIP-OVER ACCIDENTS

Attorney General’s Safe Home Coalition Launches Statewide Awareness Campaign in Wake of Recalls, Injuries & Deaths

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today alerted Illinois parents and caregivers to the risk of furniture tip-over accidents that have led to nationwide recalls, injuries and death.

Madigan issued the alert in launching a statewide awareness campaign with Kids in Danger and other advocates to the risks of tip-over accidents after reports of children being injured and killed after climbing on unsecured furniture, including dressers, night stands and bookshelves.

The campaign comes in the wake of two nationwide recalls this week of dressers made by Bexco and Gemme Juvenile and the tragedies that resulted when children attempted to climb up the dressers, including the 2011 death of a 2-year-old Barrington toddler.

This week’s recalls by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission underscore the inherent risk of tip-over accidents: Since 2011, at least four other Illinois children were killed in furniture tip-over accidents, and each year an estimated 22,800 children under the age of 9 go to emergency rooms because of injuries caused by unsecured furniture, televisions and appliances.

“It’s important for parents to know that unsecured, heavy furniture falling over on a child causes preventable injuries and deaths so that they can secure dressers, bookcases, stoves and televisions in their homes,” Madigan said.

Madigan urged families to follow guidelines provided by the CPSC to secure furniture in their homes:

  • Anchor furniture to the wall or floor;
  • Place televisions on sturdy, low-base stands or furniture, or anchor the furniture and the television on its base, and push the television as far back to the wall as possible;
  • Keep remote controls, toys and other items of interest to children off of television stands or furniture;
  • Keep television and cable cords out of reach; and
  • Ensure that freestanding kitchen ranges and stoves are installed with anti-tip brackets.

“According to the CPSC, one child dies every two weeks in a tip-over incident. With stronger standards, educational outreach and access to anchoring straps, we can keep children safe,” said Nancy Cowles, Kids In Danger Executive Director.

Madigan announced the awareness campaign on behalf of her Illinois Safe Home Coalition that was created to respond and educate the public to product safety dangers. Members of the Safe Home Coalition include Kids in Danger, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians, the Illinois Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners, the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Illinois PIRG, the Illinois Poison Center, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, Shane’s Foundation and the University of Chicago Children’s Hospital.

The Safe Home Coalition will be distributing a poster statewide to educate parents and caregivers on securing furniture and televisions in their homes to prevent tip-over accidents. To view or download a copy of the poster, visit http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/pressroom/2013_02/Tip_Over_Poster.pdf.

Consumers seeking more information on the risk of furniture tip-over should contact Madigan’s Product Recall Hotline at (888) 414-7678, TTY (800) 964-3012 and (866) 310-8398 for Spanish speakers.

Madigan also urged parents and caregivers to sign up for e-mail notification of recalled products at www.recalls.gov.

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