Toppling TVs put toddlers at risk

29Television provides news, information, education and entertainment. Children in particular love to watch TV, but a report released last month in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, demonstrates a disturbing increase in the number of children who suffer TV-related injuries.

Virtually every household in the US owns a television set, and 55 percent of American households own three or more TVs. When those TVs are not properly installed or secured, they can topple over. Every year, toppling TVs injure thousands of children — one every 30 minutes.

Television-related injury study

The Pediatrics Journal report studied tv-related injuries over 22 years, when 380,885 children were treated in emergency rooms. Two-year-olds were most frequently injured, and more than 64 percent of children injured were younger than five years old. Most children suffered head and neck injuries including lacerations, concussions and closed head injuries.

Many injuries involved TVs falling off of TV stands, entertainment centers, tables and dressers. The rate of injury caused by falling TVs nearly doubled during the period of the study.

The experts who conducted the study recommend that all TVs be anchored upon installation, that safety anchors be provided with TVs at the point of purchase and that safety anchoring devices be distributed to households with young children.

Few events are as devastating to a family as a serious injury to a child. Please use safety precautions and take extra care.

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