A parent walks out of the family room and into the kitchen. Suddenly, a crash is heard in the family room and a child screams. The TV tumbled onto the toddler and the parent frantically calls 911. This scenario happens more often than it should.
A recent report released by Safe Kids Worldwide and SANUS, a company that designs and builds audio/video furnishings and mounts, revealed that every three weeks, a child dies from a television tipping over and nearly 13,000 more children are injured each year in the U.S. This represents a 31 percent increase in TV tip-over-related injuries over the last ten years.
Many TV tip-overs are caused by unsteady TVs that are not secured to the wall, according to the report. Flat screen TVs that are top-heavy with narrow bases can be easily pulled off an entertainment center or table. Large and heavy old-style cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs placed on dressers or high furniture can also tip over if children climb the drawers to reach a remote control, a video game, or anything else that attracts their attention. “Every 45 minutes, or less than the length of a Sesame Street episode, a child visits the ER because of a TV tipping over,” said Kate Carr, President and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “Dramas and tragedies should be on TV, not caused by them.”
The report shows that young children are at the highest risk of TV tip-overs. According to the research, 7 out of 10 children injured by TV tip-overs are 5 years old or younger. This age group also accounts for 9 out of 10 serious injuries requiring hospitalization, including head injuries, which are among the most severe.
TV tip-overs are preventable. WebMD recommends preventing furniture from tipping by securing bookcases, shelving, and heavy furniture to walls with brackets and anchors. The Safe Kids Worldwide and SANUS report also suggests that parents should make sure that TVs are in a stable position and, if possible, secured to the wall.
Additional child safety information: