With the holiday season behind us, many families may have received the gift of a new television. Once it's out of the box, it is important to know the danger of TV tip-overs and what you can do to keep your children safe. A new report released in December by Safe Kids Worldwide and SANUS revealed that every three weeks a child dies from a television tipping over, and almost 13,000 more children are injured each year in the U.S. This represents a 31 percent increase in TV tip-over related injuries during the last 10 years.
A Report to the Nation on Home Safety: The Dangers of TV Tip-Overs includes data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and new findings from Safe Kids Worldwide primary research. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, from 2000-2010, on average, a child dies every three weeks. The report shows young children have the greatest risk of being injured by TV tip-overs. According to the research, seven out of 10 children injured by TV tip-overs are 5 years old or younger. This age group also accounts for nine 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 in the U.S. visits the emergency room because of a TV tipping over," said Cherie Safe, Safe Kids Kansas. "Securing your TV will go a long way in protecting your family."
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 TVs placed on dressers or high furniture can also tip over if children climb the drawers to reach a remote control, a piece of candy, a video game or anything else that attracts their attention.
The report also revealed three out of four parents don't secure their TV 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.
Safe Kids Kansas and community partners are launching a national effort to prevent injuries from TV and furniture tip-overs and educate communities by 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, such as remote controls or candy.
• 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.
Page 2 of 2 - Also, remember to secure other furniture in the home to prevent injuries from furniture tip-overs. Go to www.safekids.org and www.charlieshouse.org to learn more.
Visit us at www.safekidskansas.org and on Facebook.