INSIDE EDITION Investigates Tipping TVs
It's a danger that may be lurking in your home. An unsecured TV set can easily topple over and injure, even kill a child.
INSIDE EDITION's Lisa Guerrero found most people don't take the risk seriously, until it's too late.
Cole Durham, 4 years old, had been playing in his parent's bedroom when the family's unsecured, 42-inch TV fell on top of him.
"It's a sight I will never forget," said Cole's mom, Sarah, who discovered the unimaginable scene.
"I thought, he can't be under there because there's no way he'll survive," Sarah Durham said. "He's 38 pounds and that TV is well over 100."
When she picked up the TV, Sarah said she couldn't even recognize her own son.
"He didn't look like Cole whatsoever," she said.
The heavy TV had crushed Cole's face, breaking his eye sockets, nose and jaw. Cole spent a month in a Louisville, Kentucky, hospital.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 22,000 children were treated in hospital emergency rooms, between 2008 and 2010, for injuries related to unstable televisions, furniture and appliances.
Between 2000 and 2010, falling televisions killed 169 children.
In Chicago, there have been four deaths and one serious injury involving tipping TVs in the past six months.
Ron Hazelton is a home safety expert. He showed INSIDE EDITION how a small child can cause a heavy TV to fall down on top of them.
"Children will [pull out dresser drawers], and then they'll kind of use them to climb up to the top [towards the TV]," Hazelton said.
The extra weight of a child can cause the TV and dresser to easily topple over.
Hazelton said all TVs need to be secured, either to a sturdy, stable piece of furniture using a safety strap, or by attaching a cable to the TV and securing it to the wall.
While flat-screen TVs may look smaller and lighter, Hazelton said they can be dangerous too and need to be safely secured.
That's not what INSIDE EDITION found at Cami and Aaron Wasserman's home in Fairfield, Connecticut.
INSIDE EDITION's Guerrero inspected the family's home, looking for potential tipping hazards.
She and Hazelton found one hazard in the Wasserman's 4-year-old son's bedroom.
"There's a TV in the corner, but it looks pretty small. Is it a problem?" Guerrero asked Hazelton.
"It is small, but it can still do some damage," Hazelton said.
Not only was the TV unsecured, the power cord connecting the television to the wall outlet was exposed. Hazelton demonstrated how easy it would be for a child to pull the TV down, using the power cord.
We found television safety hazards all over the Wasserman's home.
INSIDE EDITION's Guerrero showed Cami Wasserman the potential risks in her home.
Guerrero demonstrated to Cami how easy it would be to for a child to pull down the family's large flat-screen TV on top of them.
"My son is 40 pounds, and when you put two and two together, it would probably crush him," Cami Wasserman said.
A lesson Cole Durham's parents have learned the hard way. They want Cole's story to serve as a warning to others.
For tips on how to properly secure the TV, visit these websites: