Whether you’ve still got an older box TV or a flat panel mounted on a wall, a new study says falling televisions present a very real danger to young kids. Thousands of injuries resulting from tippy TVs have been reported every year, say researchers, and the numbers coming out of emergency rooms related to tipping TVs are only going up.
A new study published online today in Pediatrics (via USA Today) says that falling TVs accounted for 12,300 injuries suffered by kids under age 18 in 2011, a 126% boost from the 5,455 injuries in 1990.
“A child is killed by a falling TV once every three weeks in this country,” says Gary Smith, senior author of the study and president of the Child Injury Prevention Alliance. “These new findings show there’s a lack of recognition of the potential dangers that TV tip-overs pose to young children.”
It might not be that kids are just getting grabbier, note researchers, it’s likely that as we upgrade from the older, heavier models, we relegate them, perhaps somewhat carelessly, to resting spots that aren’t designed to hold their weight. The data used in the study doesn’t lay out how many injuries were caused by which kinds of TVs, however.
“The type of furniture involved is implicated more,” Smith says. “We suspect that as parents purchase a new TV, and now that tends to be a flat screen, the older TV gets moved to another part of the home, often placed in an unsafe position, such as on a dresser or bureau, which was never designed to support a TV.”
Kids will then often climb up dresser drawers to reach TVs, a maneuver that can bring the whole thing tumbling down on top of them. Parents should exercise caution when anchoring both TVs to the wall and placing older models on appropriate furniture.
“That’s why we’re telling parents that it’s very important if they purchase a TV that it must be anchored to the wall, whether it’s a flat screen or a CRT, and the furniture should be designed to support it, and it should be anchored to the wall as well.”
Previously in tipping TVs: A TV On A Dresser Can Crush Your Kid To Death
Toppling TVs hurt thousands of kids each year [USA Today]