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Common household objects can present a premises liability hazard

When you are checking out a potential daycare or preschool, taking your child to a playdate at a friend’s house or childproofing your own home, you probably pay attention to such dangers as electrical outlets and hazardous items in cabinets. It can be easy to overlook objects that you would not suspect to present a threat, but could still be just as harmful. You and other parents in Texas should understand the potential hazards of heavy and unsecured household objects.

You are likely familiar with the tragic story of a little girl who was killed recently at a Payless shoe store when an improperly mounted wall mirror fell on her. Investigators believe the mirror was held in place by a single screw. This tragedy highlights the often-unconsidered risks of objects that could topple over or fall onto young children. To reduce the chances of your child being harmed by a common household object, you may take the following measures:

  • Ensure bulky picture frames and mirrors are mounted to wall studs at several points with sturdy nails or screws.
  • Place heavy decorative objects, such as stone vases, out of your child’s reach.
  • Only keep child-friendly items on low surfaces like coffee tables and side tables.
  • Do not let the cords of heavy appliances like microwave ovens dangle over countertops, where your child may use them to pull the appliance off the surface.
  • Secure tall cabinets, dressers and television sets to the wall with strong brackets specifically designed for furniture safety.

Hospital emergency rooms across the country treat a child every 45 minutes for an injury sustained by a toppled TV set, which can give you an idea of the risk of fallen heavy objects. When considering a school or daycare facility, it is a good idea to check if the staff has made it a priority to secure heavy objects, as well as other commonplace childproofing methods.

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