Thursday, November 9, 2006
7 News Features: Flat Out Dangerous
With Thanksgiving two weeks away, the holiday shopping season is already here. But if you're thinking about buying a plasma television, safety experts have a warning. They say flat screens can be flat out dangerous. 7 News' Tom Haynes explains how this technology can be deadly in this Special Assignment Report.
WSVN -- After a frightening fall, imagine if your child was underneath.
Michelle Demeo-Bonsangue: "I never thought in a million years that it could happen."
Michelle will never forget the day her 8-year-old son, Joseph, was killed. A flat screen TV fell on him.
Julia Brammer: "My life is so empty without him. He was a wonderful kid."
Julia Brammer's 22-month-old daughter, Emily, was also killed when a metal TV stand gave way. The 27-inch TV it was holding crashed on top of her.
Julia Brammer: "My nightmare had started. She was lifeless, and I gave her CPR."
These tragedies are happening more and more. According to the Consumer Product Saftey Commission, 36 children were killed by tumbling TVs between 2000 and 2005. Experts warn that more children than ever are in danger.
Kim Dulic: "We've already seen 10 deaths this year."
The number of injuries is also shocking. More than 3,000 children were hurt by falling TVs just last year.
Carrie Kelley: "The reality is that they are so lightweight and easy to tip over that they can cause a lot of damage."
But whether your TV is flat or not, the screens are getting bigger and bigger, and the stands aren't. All of this makes for a dangerous situation.
Carie Kelly: "People are upgrading their TVs but not necessarily upgrading the furniture that's holding the television."
Experts say the safest place for your plasma or LCD TV is attached securely to a wall, the higher up the better.
If you are going to use a TV stand, read the box. Most stands list what size TVs they will safely hold.
Buy specially-made safety straps to hold your TV in place on the stand.
Never put anything on top of the TV, especially something your child will try to reach.
Joseph's parents now chain their TV to the wall. It's a heart-breaking lesson they hope other families can avoid.
Michelle Demeo-Bonsangue: "You could fix a hole in the wall. You can't fix ahole in your heart."
Right now, there's a bill in Congress that would require labels on TVs to warn parents that they can tip over.
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