By Alexis Rothenberg. CBS 62/CW50 Intern
Don’t be the ‘lucky’ parents, become the aware ones. With only a few days into 2017 the hashtag #AnchorIt has popped up again. On January 3rd camera footage from a twin boys’ bedroom goes viral; showing how one small toddler has the strength to tip over an unmounted dresser. Luckily the boys were safe, but that isn’t the case for all families. Unmounted televisions, dressers and cabinets are unsafe around young children, especially the ones curious enough to want to climb them.
On average, one child dies every two weeks when a TV or furniture falls onto him or her.
Amanda Jonas, a Riverview mother, experienced this just three years ago with her daughter Khloe. Unlike the twin boys, Jonas almost lost her daughter to an unmounted 26 inch, 250 pound television. “These types of TV’s are usually moved to playrooms or children’s rooms once [parents] upgraded to flat screens, they are much more difficult to anchor but it’s possible.”
Khloe is in full recovery and now is aspiring to be a young equestrian but still deals with problems from her incident. Khloe is permanently deaf in her left ear and her face is partially paralyzed on the same side. Her skull was fractured in three places and she continues going to speech therapy. “When you’re visiting everyone for the holidays and they have little ones around, let them know how dangerous that flat screen just sitting on the entertainment stand is. One little conversation could save a child’s life. So many people are unaware of how common these accidents are.”
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2016, 17,300 children under the age of 18 became victims of television and furniture fatalities.
Jonas is a frequent activist for #AnchorIt because she doesn’t want to see any more children getting toppled over by furniture. Stories just like Khloe’s are becoming more common in American with the increase of wider, bigger televisions and furniture. Jonas wants readers to learn from her and others mistakes, and try become more aware of the dangers inside the household. #AnchorIt is another item to add to the Baby Proofing list. To learn more about how to make your home safe go to Anchorit.gov
Alexis Rothenberg is in her final semester at Eastern Michigan University. This April she will graduate with a Bachelors of Science after completing Eastern’s Electronic Media and Film program. Throughout her four years at Eastern Michigan University, Alexis has discovered her passion for screen writing, producing and costume design.