PHOENIX, AZ – Police officials say that a 5-year old boy died in Phoenix Monday after a television set apparently fell on top of him.
According to a report from CBS5 in Phoenix, Isaiah Hernandez was watching television by himself in a back room of his house while on a fall break from school. After a couple of hours, the boy’s mother and grandmother went to get him and found him pinned underneath a 165-pound television set. Police described the TV as an “old-style picture tube” that appeared to have been perched on top of a nightstand, about two feet off the ground.
“Clearly, (his death) is probably not created from the impact of the fall, but only from the pressure of it being on him,” Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump told CBS5.
One of two other adults who were at home when the boy was discovered administered CPR, but the boy was still not breathing by the time medics arrived. He was pronounced dead at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
According to police, nobody at the time heard anything unusual – no loud noises, thuds, or cries for help that might have alerted them to the accident, and no one in the house knew long the boy had been pinned underneath the heavy TV, which police said appeared to have toppled off of a stand that was too small to safely support it.
The boy’s mother told investigators that the television remote was lost recently, so the boy used the controls at the bottom front of the television to change the channel and volume.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns that such deadly incidents are not uncommon around the home. “Furniture and TV tip-over incidents are one of the top hidden hazards in the home,” the Commission said in its most recent public warning on the subject.
Unfortunately, despite regular CPSC warnings, the rate of furniture tip-over and death is not slowing down. Between 2000 and 2010, the agency received 245 reports of children 8 and younger being killed by furniture and appliances tipping over. More than half (54 percent) of the children killed were crushed by the weight of the furniture, TV, or other appliance, and 67 percent of those injuries involved fatal head trauma.
Additionally, the CPSC says that more than 22,000 children age 8 and younger are treated in emergency rooms every year for injuries related to instability or tipover of televisions, furniture, and appliances. And like the fatalities, a majority of these injuries (56 percent) are to the head.
“Children like to climb on furniture. Placing TVs on furniture not intended for them or having furniture that is not secured can have tragic consequences,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “These tragedies can be prevented by taking low-cost steps. Anchor those TVs and dressers, and protect your child or a child visiting your home.”