July 25, 2013 – A new study released by the Journal of Pediatrics finds that the number of young children injured by falling televisions has increased 125 percent between 1990 and 2011. More than 17,000 children are hurt and treated annually in the United States.
The study also shows that children are treated in emergency rooms every 30 minutes for injuries related to falling televisions. During the 22 year study, more than 380,000 children were seriously injured, many of them under 5 years old. 215 children died as a result of their injuries.
“It’s very important that television sets are anchored to the wall,” said Mary Beth Moran, Injury Prevention Manager at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. “Furniture should also be designed to support TVs and the furniture should be anchored to the wall as well, to help prevent injuries commonly seen in emergency rooms all across the United States.”
Some of the injuries the Rady Children’s trauma team has seen over the years include lacerations, broken arms and legs, severe head and neck injuries and concussions. Circumstances vary, but in many cases the child was attempting to climb to get to a television and either pulled the TV off of the furniture or pulled both the furniture and television onto themselves.
Parents should avoid putting remote controls, toys or other items that children may want on top of a television.
IMPORTANT FACTS • Newer televisions are front heavy and easier to tip over. They are becoming substantially larger and have been popular in recent years. • Televisions, especially larger ones, on inadequate or unstable supports pose a serious injury risk to children. • Many of the injuries in San Diego have occurred as a result of televisions being placed on top of tall dressers and bookcases.
WHAT PARENTS CAN DO • Use an anchor and/or angle brace to secure furniture to the wall. • Place your television on a low piece of furniture; as far back as it will go. • Make sure the television stand is sturdy, is designed for and can handle the weight of the TV and does not easily tip over. • Anchor your TV to the wall with an appliance strap. • Clear your TV and stand of any items that children might try to climb and reach including toys, movies, books etc. • Do not place a VCR and/or DVD player on top of the television where a child might attempt to climb to access.