Potentially Dangerous Tables Concern Grand Valley Parent

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a warning program last month for folding mobile tables in schools that can tip–over and seriously injure and kill children. It was the second of it's kind. Mesa County School District 51 Spokesperson Jeff Kirtland says the district has not received any warning notification about the tables, which could indicate these tables don't exist in District 51, but because school is out of session, there is no way to know for sure at this point.

The C.P.S.C. has reports of at least nine deaths since 1971 when children moved or played with the folding mobile tables, but this figure does not include the number of children killed or injured that weren't touching the tables when they fell, which is exactly what happened to six-year-old Jarod Bennett of Ohio.

On December 19th 2003, Jarod was attending an after school program when an upright 290 pound folding table fell, hitting Jarod in the head with more than 8 tons of force, which is a concern facing one parent who has children in District 51, Heidi Vidmar. "It's been known to kill Jarod in Ohio. It could surely happen here if we have them in our schools. I think it's real important that we know for sure if they're here in School District 51 and if they are we need to do something about it," said Vidmar.

Kirtland knows the district has not ordered any tables matching the C.S.P.C.'S description since the early 1980's. Currently, the schools are under construction and out for session, making it impossible for the district to get inside, and physically count the tables. "At this point we are unsure if these tables exist, partially because we've never been notified about any type of danger. Certainly with this knowledge it's safe to say that between our janitor and custodial staff obviously we be on the lookout for these things," said Kirtland.

In addition, Kirtland says the number one priority is keeping the schools safe and he has seen no reports of injuries to Grand Valley students from folding tables. He says the district does not allow students to move tables. Kirtland also says if you think one of these tables are in your child's school to contact the school's principal to look into the matter.

They are considered to be dangerous because of their weight distribution. The tables are about six-feet-tall and may weigh up to 350 pounds. Some of them have benches or seats attached and they are on small wheels and heavy up top so they can tip over easily.

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