Local Toddler's Death Inspires Safety Video

3-Year-Old Kendall Wallace Died In 2007 After Dresser Fell On Her

A Jamul couple has turned their tragic loss into a message that they are hoping will save lives.

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On Thursday, at the UltraStar Cinemas in Mission Valley, Eric and Niki Wallace debuted a video that warns parents about the hidden dangers inside a home.

In the video, Niki Wallace said, "I went and checked on her, and when I found her, the dresser had tipped on top of her, so I found her under the dresser."

In 2007, the Wallaces' 3-year-old daughter, Kendall, tried to climb a small dresser using the drawers.

"She had told me she didn't think Kendall was alive," Eric Wallace said.

The 30-minute video is produced by the Trauma Research Education Foundation (TREF), which is supported by six local trauma centers and Safe Kids San Diego. The video shows viewers how to give their homes a safety makeover.

"We kind of wanted to do this just to teach families and get the word out there of what needs to be done in a home so this doesn't happen to another family," explained Niki Wallace.

Medical experts say young children pulling furniture or TVs onto themselves is a serious problem. In September 2011, 3-year-old Isabella Rodriguez of Encinitas died after a TV on a dresser fell on her.

"We're seeing this happen more and more often, not just in San Diego County, but around the country," said Sue Cox, director of Trauma and Volunteer Services at Rady Children's Hospital.

The video explains how to anchor furniture and TVs so they are secure. It also covers other danger zones like swimming pools.

On average, six county toddlers die every year from drowning, according to county statistics. It is the top cause of death in that age group.

But according to Cox, it isn't always in swimming pools.

"It's bathtubs and even toilets and buckets, sometimes," said Cox.

The video covers home safety for all ages, including infants and seniors.

The Wallaces opened up their home to be the video's backdrop as a way to honor Kendall.

"We bring her up all the time, we celebrate her birthday every year," said Niki Wallace.

The International Star Registry has given the Wallaces a star in Kendall's name.

A nationwide study is starting up soon to track these types of accidents, according to Cox.

To watch the video, click here.

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