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Furniture Can Be Deadly For Kids

If you have small children, you may want to take a closer look at the furniture in your home.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 8,000 to 10,000 people are injured by falling furniture each year. A majority of victims are children.

The Early Show consumer correspondent Susan Koeppen reports on what parents can do to keep their families safe.

She talks to the parents of Katie Elise Lambert. The 3-year-old was playing in her bedroom when her wardrobe fell over, crushed her, and killed her. Her mother, Judy, heard the crash and ran to the room, but it was too late.

Almost all of these accidents happen while a child is alone in a room, unsupervised. The accidents happen so quickly children don't have the time or the skill to get out of the way.

Now there's an effort to change safety standards and make people aware of the danger.

The Lamberts contacted their congresswoman, Allyson Schwartz, and she proposed a bill to Congress that would require furniture manufacturers to put warnings in their furniture that there is a tip-over risk and to provide information to consumers about how they can protect themselves and their families.

In their effort to create awareness, the Lamberts also started the Web site, www.katieeliselambert.com.

Dr. Edward Barksdale at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh says he is alarmed by the number of children who are being injured by falling furniture, and points out that TVs on top of furniture that fall over are a huge problem. They often hit kids in the head and cause serious, if not fatal, injuries.

Koeppen offers the following tips to keep your kids safe.

TV - Put TVs low to the ground on a piece of furniture that is very stable.

Remote Control - Don't put the remote control, your child's favorite DVD, or toys up with the TV. Your child will want to climb up and get it.

Dressers – Dr. Barksdale suggests packing the dresser from the bottom up. That way, the dresser is bottom heavy instead of top heavy.

Brackets - For just a few dollars, you can buy brackets to hold your furniture in place. You might not think that a heavy piece of furniture can tip over, but it can happen in the blink of an eye.