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With the Super Bowl Coming, Think Pink Nail Polish

TV and furniture safety

I want to tell you about a man who wears pink nail polish on his pinky finger. His name is Scott Deming. He's an international speaker, an author and a Buffalo Bills fan. But that's not why he wears the pink nail polish.

He wears pink nail polish on his pinky finger because it's a little different and he wants you to notice it. And then he wants you to ask about it. And when you do, he'll tell you about Amaya, his precocious, adorable 2-year-old granddaughter.

He'll beam when he describes Amaya as calm and cuddly, and at the same time bounded with endless energy and curiosity. He'll smile when he says that Amaya loved animals and especially bugs -- so much so that she earned the nickname "Buggy" from her father. He'll tell you that Amaya loved to paint her nails pink. Then, the smile will start to fade as the conversation switches to what happened to Amaya on September 11, 2012.

That's when Amaya was getting ready to watch her favorite movie, Madagascar, on DVD. She used a cabinet drawer to climb up to put the DVD into the television. As she reached up, the weight of her body was enough to tip the TV and piece of furniture it was standing on. Both came toppling down and Amaya died instantly.

Amaya's story is heartbreaking and Scott will tell you that not a day goes by without that feeling of sorrow and emptiness that comes from losing a child. But that's not why he's sharing his story. He shares it because he wants everyone to know that what happened to Amaya was completely preventable.

So what better time to talk about television safety than right before the Super Bowl? Unfortunately, TV tip-overs happen far too often. In fact, in 2011 alone, every 10 days, a child died from a television tipping over. And over the last 10 years, every 45 minutes -- or less than the length it will take to play one quarter of the Super Bowl -- a child was sent to the emergency room due to a TV tip-over.

According to a report released by my organization, Safe Kids Worldwide, and SANUS, three out of four parents don't secure their TV to the wall. Most families are unaware that securing a TV is an important safety measure. Others decide not to mount their TVs because of concerns about damaging the wall or installing the TV incorrectly.

You wouldn't bring a baby home from the hospital without a car seat or have your child ride a bike without a helmet. Mounting your TV properly will protect your wall, your TV and most importantly, your child.

So when you're preparing for the Super Bowl this year, think pink nail polish and remember these few simple steps you can take to prevent TV and furniture tip-overs in your home.

Check Your TV. Assess the stability of the TVs in your home. Remember, a curious, determined child can topple a TV. Children playing with friends or pets could knock a TV over, while other kids might be tempted to climb up to reach items placed on top of a TV, such as remote controls or candy.

Secure Your TV. Securing your TV to the wall is the safest solution. Much like childproofing with a toddler gate or electrical socket cover, TV mounts and furniture straps are necessary precautions for keeping your family safe. If you have a large, heavy, old-style cathode ray tube TV, then place it on a low, stable piece of furniture.

Secure your Furniture. Use brackets, braces or wall straps to secure unstable or top-heavy furniture to the wall. Install stops on dresser drawers to prevent them from being pulled all the way out. Multiple open drawers can cause the weight to shift, making it easier for a dresser to fall.