Tens of thousands of children are hurt or killed by falling furniture

PHOENIX - In an emotional plea, a Valley mother offers a warning everybody needs to hear.

Across the nation, more children are being hurt or killed by falling furniture. More than 22,000 kids are treated in emergency rooms every year for injuries related to instability or tip-over.
    
And televisions are typically to blame. They are involved in 70% of furniture-related deaths.

According to a recent report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, one child is killed every two weeks in the United States.
        
"And now all I have left of him is an urn of ashes and I don't want other families to go through this," sobbed Heather Poole.  

The Phoenix mother never thought her home was a dangerous place for her 3-year-old son Brayden Lee Rodgers.

"I thought putting the TV high up where he couldn't get it would keep him from touching it," Pooled explained. "Not thinking it would cause him to want to touch it."

Last New Years Eve, after returning home from work, Poole went in to kiss her little boy goodnight, only to find him crushed beneath his dresser and television set killing him instantly.
     
"For a $1.93, I could have saved my son's life," Poole cried.

She said she never imagined something like this could happen. While clutching Brayden's favorite teddy bear, blanket and toy, Poole's on a mission to save other children. She's founded " Brace It For Brayden ," which is a nonprofit organization educating people about the dangers.

"Parents are not supposed to bury their children," sobbed Poole. "That's not the way it works."

Poole said she's left with only pictures and memories of an active little boy whose favorite song was "Life is a Highway" from his favorite movie "Cars."

"The holidays are coming," said Angelica Baker, Coordinator at the Injury Prevention Center at Phoenix Children's Hospital, "and between holiday sales and visitors, many homes will have new furniture or televisions, with small children present."

Phoenix Children's Hospital along with the support of Phoenix Fire Department, explained a number of safety strategies to prevent tip-overs:

* Effectively brace your furniture with brackets

* Choose furniture with a low, sturdy base

* Child-proof the area, looking from a child's eye-level and putting the items toddlers want within reach.

* Develop supervision techniques for holiday visits to reduce the risk of injury.  

"My son made an impact on a lot of people when he was here and I'm hoping he can do the same now that he's not," Poole smiled.

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