A new report recently released by Safe Kids Worldwide and SANUS, manufacturer of audio visual interior furnishings, revealed 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 throughout the last ten years.
The results of the report, A Report to the Nation on Home Safety: The Dangers of TV Tip-Overs, include data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and new findings from Safe Kids Worldwide primary research. According to the CPSC, from 2000-2010, on average, a child dies every three weeks.
The report shows young children are at greatest 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.
“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 Lisa Klindt Simpson, coordinator, Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin.
Many TV tip-overs are a result of unsteady TVs that are not secured to the wall. 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 or anything else that attracts their attention.
The report also revealed 3 out of 4 parents don’t secure their TVs 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 think to bring a baby home from the hospital without a car seat or have your child ride a bike without a helmet,” said Klindt Simpson. “Similarly, securing your TV will go a long way in protecting your family.”
Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin are calling on families to conduct a quick TV safety check, which includes the following steps:
• 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 or near a TV.
• Secure your TV. Securing your TV to the wall is a safe solution. Much like child proofing with a toddler gate or electrical socket cover, TV mounts and furniture straps are necessary precautions for keeping your family safe.
Go to www.safekids.org to learn more.
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