Between 2000 and 2010 169 children died from injuries sustained from television sets tipping over on them. Front heavy televisions can topple over on children and cause severe injuries. Children frequently are around television sets either reaching for a toy or a remote controller on top of the set or watching the television. They also can become tangled in or tug at TV or cable cords causing the TV to topple. These deaths are caused by severe trauma to the head or body or by suffocation. They do not need to happen and can be easily prevented.
An estimated 13,700 children were treated in emergency departments between 2008 and 2010 after being struck by a television. Younger children suffered greater injuries and were injured more frequently. The most common injuries were head injuries. Since this is the time of greatest neurodevelopmental change head injuries at a young age have dramatic and lasting effects.
To protect your child from such injuries follow these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
- Place your television on allow stand or base and push the television as far back from furniture as possible.
- Make sure the stand is sturdy and can handle the weight of your TV.
- Do not place your television on a piece of furniture that is not designed for this use.
- Secure your TV and its stand to a wall stud with anchoring devices.
- Check packaging to make sure the anchoring device can support the weight of your TV and the piece of furniture. Make sure the anchoring device is designed for the kind of TV you own. Older TV sets that are not flat screen are especially heavy and can injure your child severely.
- Always follow manufacturer’s instructions on anchoring your TV.
- Do not place toys, remote controls or other items that might attract your child’s attention on top of the stand or the TV.
- Keep TV and cable cords out of sight and out of your child’s reach.
- Be especially careful when you are at another person’s house with your child. Make sure their TV is anchored properly and all the safety issues discussed above have been dealt with. If there are concerns then do not allow your child near the TV.