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4-Year-Old Girl Killed By Falling TV

Updated 1/16/2012 at 8:45 p.m.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill. (CBS) -- For a third time since October, a Chicago-area child has been killed by a falling TV.

Four-year-old Gianna Hadjis was killed at a home in the 600 block of  Sullivan Lane in University Park, after a television fell on her head Sunday afternoon.

Gianna was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where she was pronounced dead at 2:54 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

"The worst was holding my little girl in my arms, cold as ice," Adam Hadjis of Iowa, who shared custody of the preschooler, told CBS 2's Dana Kozlov Monday. "Words can't explain the thoughts and emotions that were running through my mind."

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio's Regine Schlesinger reports


Police said it appeared an older box-style television accidentally toppled and fell on the girl's head. It fractured her skull and caused fatal injuries. The accident occurred as Gianna and her mother, Yahira Jones, were at a friend's home. Jones said her daughter was out of her sight for a matter of seconds.

"I would never (have) thought in a million years that I would lose my baby, especially like this," she told reporters.

It was the third such death in the Chicago area since October.

Last fall, a 6-year-old boy from Arlington Heights and a 3-year-old Chicago girl died the same way.

Dr. Karen Sheehan, medical director of the injury prevention and research center at Children's Memorial Hospital, said parents need to secure unstable televisions and other furniture pieces.

"You can buy straps to help secure the TV better or get a stand that's made for a TV," she said. "But if you can't find a stand for the TV, sometimes it might be safer on the floor."

Most of the accidents involve older, heavier TV sets. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, 245 children under the age of 8 were killed when they were crushed by falling TVs or other furniture between 2000 and 2010.

"Precaution, precaution, precaution," Jones said. "Make sure, since children are so busy and so active … You have to be careful."

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