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Death of 2-year-old girl spurs family into action to prevent tipping furniture

By ANNA MEILER

MARCY, N.Y. (WKTV) -- There's a quilt that covers almost an entire wall, covered in pictures of smiling, bright-eyed children. When most people see it for the first time they say:

"Oh wow look at that! They see pictures of all these children, many of them smiling and happy and once they realize that they're all children that have died from tipping accidents you can see the emotion overwhelm them and many of them say, 'Oh my God, I've never heard of that,' said Diana Benkowski.

One of the faces on this quilt is Benkowski's little cousin, Amaya Beaudreault, a 2-year-old girl who was killed instantly when a TV fell on top of her.

"She wanted to watch a video one day and she didn't have a history of climbing but she climbed that day and wanted to put her DVD in," said Benkowski.

Within days of her death in 2012 the family started the Safe and Sound with Amaya Foundation. This kind of accident the family hadn't even thought of and the worst part they say is Amaya didn't have to die.

"These accidents are preventable and that's the whole focus of the foundation is to educate people on the dangers of tipping furniture and to know they are preventable," said Benkowski.

Preventable, yet more and more prevalent. A child is killed every 14 days from a falling TV or furniture.

"Twenty-five thousand kids a year seen in the emergency room with tipping-related injuries. They can range from broken bones up to lifelong traumatic brain injuries," said Amaya's grandmother, Debbie Deming, the outreach coordinator for Safe and Sound with Amaya.

One of the reasons this is a growing problem is because so many people are purchasing flat-screen TVs and then placing their old tube TVs on unsecured pieces of furniture.

"They take their old TV and they put it in the back bedroom. They might put it on dressers that have dresser drawers and that's an opportunity for a child to pull drawers out and climb up and for the TV to fall on them if it's not secured," said Benkowski.

So the foundation spreads awareness by wearing pink on their pinkies, the way Amaya liked her nails done and they provide anti-tip furniture straps free to anyone who wants them.

"This would have prevented the death of all the children you see behind me," said Deming, pointing at the quilt.

You can contact the foundation to receive any amount of free anti-tip furniture straps:

Phone: (315) 748-1015

Email: info@safeandsoundwithamaya.org

Website: www.safeandsoundwithamaya.org
 

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