Thursday, June 18, 2009



A tragic tale of ignorance:

My local newspaper had a headline stating "4-year-old dies in freak
accident"... The child was fatally injured by a FLAT SCREEN
TV, through no fault of anyone except the consumer product safety
com. and Big Business, who push these dangerous products. I’ve
seen these latest consumer items in stores, sitting atop some
dresser or TV stand, looking so mightily modern with their teeny
tiny base. My (indoctrinated) consumer interest, seemed only
focused on the size of the screen, not the lack of size of the
base. It's unfathomable to me now, (especially after reading a
child had died) that I didn’t realize how top-heavy these
thingamajigs were. This is a very sad tale of how one family had
to suffer from a lack of knowledge about physics. I am writing
this today in hope that maybe, just one consumer (especially,
with a small child) will think before they plop their hard earned
cash down so they can cart one of these potential killers off to
their home.

4-year-old dies in freak accident

By Jeff Waters, Democrat Reporter

A four-year-old Branford girl died Sunday from injuries
she sustained when a television fell on her at her home
in Branford Saturday, according to Chief Deputy Ron
Colvin of the Suwannee County Sheriff's Office.

Olivia Grace Leatherman died at Shands UF, authorities said.

Circumstances of the incident are unclear.

"It was a tragic, tragic accident," said Chief
Deputy Ron Colvin of the Suwannee County Sheriff's
Office. "I feel for the entire family."

Olivia's grandfather Kenneth Leatherman wanted to warn folks of the dangers TVs can create.

"If we can do that and reach out and save just maybe
one child," said Leatherman. "I want to make
sure people understand that regardless of flat screen,
wall mounted or sitting on a stand, they need to be secured properly."

Nicknamed "princess" and "pumpkin,"
Olivia, a pre-school student, loved to work in the yard
with her father. Her grandfather said her laugh was
"absolutely contagious." She loved to dance
anytime she heard music.

Olivia and her grandfather made up a game called sock
monster, he said. Olivia would sit in a chair with her
grandmother, whom she called maw-maw, while her
grandfather would come around the corner and steal her
socks off her feet and run into his office. Olivia would
run in, grab the socks, then quickly run back to her
grandmother, all the while laughing.

Kenneth Leatherman said his granddaughter loved visiting
the local library.

"She'd go down there and make me sit at the table
while she went down the aisles," said Leatherman.
"She was a typical four year old. She was learning
her numbers and able to read and recognize most the


Another sad story below:

Falling flat-screen TVs a growing threat for kids

Samara Brinkley dozed off just for a moment as she was watching cartoons on TV with her
4-year-old daughter.

Then “I heard the boom, and I woke up and I [saw] my
child laying on the floor, and I [saw] a pool of blood
coming out in the back of her head,” said Brinkley, 26, of Jacksonville, Fla.

Dymounique Wilson, one of Brinkley’s two daughters,
died last Wednesday when the family’s 27-inch television fell over on her.

Nearly 17,000 children were rushed to emergency rooms in
2007, the last year for which complete figures were
available, after heavy or unstable furniture fell over on
them, a new study reported this month. The study,
published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics by
researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in
Columbus, Ohio, found that the such injuries had risen 41 percent since 1990.

The increase correlated with the popularity of
ever-bigger flat-panel televisions that Americans have
brought into their homes in that time, along with the
entertainment centers and narrow, less-stable stands to
hold them. Injuries from televisions alone accounted for
nearly half of all injuries related to falling furniture during the study period — 47 percent.

Three-quarters of the victims of falling furniture are
younger than 6 years old, and children that age
“simply don’t recognize the danger of climbing
on furniture,” said Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

That makes it imperative that parents take steps to
secure flat-panel TVs, which have narrow centers of
gravity, and other top-heavy pieces, said Yvonne
Holguin-Duran, a child safety specialist with University
Health System in San Antonio, Texas.

“If we just take one glance around our house,
[parents can] see what safety dangers on their level
these children can get into,” Holguin-Duran said.

Tougher voluntary rules have little impact

Like many other childhood bumps and bruises, most of the
injuries related to falling furniture were minor. But 3
percent of the 264,200 children whose cases were reviewed
from 1990 to 2007 were injured seriously enough to
require hospital admission — most of them for head
and neck injuries — and about 300 of them died.

The report “demonstrates the inadequacy of current
prevention strategies and underscores the need for
increased prevention efforts,” Smith said.

The number of accidents has risen even as regulators have
paid more attention to the problem since 2004, after ASTM
International (formerly the American Society for Testing
and Materials) published revised voluntary manufacturing
standards to reduce the likelihood that big furniture
pieces could tip over.

There is only so far current technology can go to make a
modern television stable, however, researchers at the
University of Pennsylvania pointed out in a 2006 study of
the hazards of modern TVs.

Americans have fallen in love with flat-panel displays,
which often pack as much as a hundred pounds of circuitry
and glass into a panel only a few inches thick. They are
top-heavy and are expected to balance, more or less
precariously, on lightweight stands or to hang from wall
brackets that are often inexpertly installed by home do-it-yourselfers.

By contrast, older cathode ray tube sets were big and
blocky. While they, too, were, relatively unstable, with
most of their weight at the front, they did incorporate a
broader base with a lower center of gravity, which
allowed them to rest more stably on the floor or on a

And homeowners eager to get to watching their new sets
frequently ignore instructions for how to secure their consoles.

“In our study population, none of the televisions or
the furniture that they were placed on was secured,” the Penn researchers said.

‘Keep an eye on your child’

In 2005, Congress took a stab at the problem. Rep.
Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., introduced legislation that
would have required the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission to set more rigorous standards for furniture
that “poses a substantial risk of tipping” or
that includes a glass surface or pane.

That measure died in committee. It again died in
committee after Schwartz tried a second time in late 2007.

Until laws are strengthened to mandate safety straps and
anchor mechanisms, parents are largely on their own in
making sure their homes are safe, Smith said.
Fortunately, he said, “following a few simple
prevention steps” dramatically reduces the
likelihood of injury:

Samara Brinkley will always regret nodding off for that
one moment. Police theorize that Dymounique was trying to
retrieve her Dora the Explorer book from atop the TV when
it tipped off its stand last week.

“I want every parent out there please be careful,” Brinkley said. “Keep an eye on your
child, because you never know what might happen if you turn your back for a quick second.”

Tony Porter of Greensburg, Ind., didn’t even have that chance.

His 2-year-old daughter, Vanessa, was at day care when a
television set that wasn’t bolted down fell on her
last August, breaking her cheeks, nose, jaw, palate and
eye sockets. Vanessa was hospitalized in intensive care
and subsequently underwent several operations to repair her face.

“Nobody should have to go through this,” Tony Porter said. “No child of that age — of any age
— should have to go through this.”

Flatscreen TV’s: The new silent child killer?

With falling prices and the ever increasing demand for
Hi-Def content coupled with the desire for smaller less
intrusive electronics, flat screen TV’s such as
Plasma and LCD’s have quickly begun replacing
traditional as-big-as-a-house tube/projection golden
oldies. Many would think the real danger from having
children and flat screens would be from the kids knocking
the TV’s over resulting in a very unhappy papa and
the child getting to go on a nice extended camping trip
in their bedroom. But did you ever consider that flat
screen TV’s could in fact be a dangerous child
slayer lying in wait?

Take for example the store of 26 year old Samara Brinkley
of Jacksonville, Fla as she details the horrific account
of the day she fell asleep watching cartoons on the couch
with her 4-year old daughter. Her nap however was short
lived as it came to an abrubt and tragic end by a loud
“boom”. She awoke to the tragic sight of her
daughter laying in a pool of blood after the families
27-inch TV fell over onto the child and ended up killing her.

Stories and events like this aren’t uncommon
however as in 2007, over 17,000 kids were rushed to the
emergancy room for simliar accidents. Naturally as a TV
gets bigger, the stand does as well if you choose to have
it free standing. However, the bases aren’t nearly
big or sturdy enough to support the ever growing size and
weight of the top heavy sets meaning they are more prone
to tipping. That’s why it is always smarter to
attach your flatscreen to the wall where at least it is
out of reach of most younger children who don’t
understand the risks associated with big heavy objects
and gravity. However, make sure that when mounting to a
wall you do it correctly, (read: actually hit studs). If
you you’re a stickler or anal about holes in the
wall and other neat freak crap, they sell bondo and paint
to consumers for a reason – use it!

Of course, the news of such incidents will prompt
consumer outrage and “government action” where
none is needed and is simply stupid to begin with. People
like big TV’s. We purchase them even with children.
For instance, if I install my TV in the wall and it falls
off, barring any structural problems with the TV or stand
itself, I myself am liable and fully responsible for the
failing of the wall mount. Not a manufacturer of the TV
or stand. That is the increasing problem with the good
‘ol U S of A is that we are trying to find more and
more ways to fault other people instead of looking in the mirror.

Following the over reaction and public outrage that
usuall ensues such stories as the one above means you
will find all sorts of “helpful tips and
guides” on how to be safer. Really you can just call
these for what they are: “Anti-stupid guides”.
Why? Because everything you will ever see from a guide
published after a revealing of a “major
problem” such as flat screen TV’s tipping over
on children, you will notice is nothing but pure common sense. Things like:

placing TV sets low on the ground and on the back of a stand

actually parenting (Gasp) and teaching kids not to play
around or place toys on TV’s or TV stands

buying furniture with wide legs or bases and the most important: always keep an eye on kids and what they’re doing

You see, it’s hardly rocket science. It is just
plain common sense. Just use your head people. The store
mentioned above was by no means the mothers or fathers
fault. It was tragedy pure and simple. Hopefully these
more publicized incidents will teach everyone to use
their heads a little more.


Falling Flat Screen TV Injuries and Deaths On The Rise Among Children

By Sean Fallon on May 13, 2009 at 8:20 AM

A new study reported this month revealed that 17,000
children were admitted to emergency rooms in 2007 for
injuries related to falling furniture. Of those
incidents, nearly half involved falling TVs.

Apparently, the 41% rise in injuries/deaths since 1990
correlate with the increasing popularity of flat screen
tvs and the

narrow stands that often support them. CNBC cites a
mother named Samara Brinkley as an example. Last week her
4-year old daughter was killed when the family’s
27-inch television fell on her. Only a fraction of the
incidents reported each year end up being fatal, but it
goes without saying that if you have children, flat panel
TV’s with narrow centres of gravity should be
secured. Better yet, wall mount them—it usually
looks better anyway.


Let's keep our heads, while we continue to watch THE THEATER OF THE ABSURD!!!


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