Will Your TV Hurt Your Children?

Every two weeks a child dies from a TV tipping over onto them. Every 45 minutes a child is admitted to the hospital for treatment from injuries suffered from a falling TV. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that more than 25,000 children are injured every year from tip-overs. And from 2000-2011, nearly 350 kids died from falling televisions.

A television can weigh up to 100 pounds and children are no match for them. The CPSC states that tip-over accidents are most commonly caused by kids climbing on, hitting or kicking, or playing near a TV. Replacing an older TV can cause problems too. Improperly mounted flat screens can be hazardous and the older TVs are often moved into bedrooms or dens and aren’t properly secured. Both newer flat screens and older televisions weigh enough to seriously harm a child.

Gary Smith, a pediatric ER doctor in Ohio and President of the Child Injury Prevention Alliance, recommends that all televisions come with appropriate safety straps or that retailers should sell safety straps or mounting brackets with every television set. “We wouldn’t purchase a car without seatbelts…we shouldn’t sell TVs without appropriate safety equipment.”

As tip-over accidents continue to happen, On Parenting has these suggestions to help decrease the chance of children getting hurt:

  • Avoid putting TVs on unstable surfaces or shelves – they should be anchored on a TV stand or wall.
  • Push TVs back as far as possible from the edge of a surface or stand.
  • Keep remote controls and toys off and away from the TV to remove climbing temptation.

So if you’re hoping for a great Boxing Day TV sale or get one as a holiday gift, be sure to pick up the appropriate safety straps to anchor it securely. If you’re unsure how to install a wall mount, ask your retailer – they have staff that can help. Protect your family and keep TV time fun, not deadly.

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James Richards
James Richards is a born and raised Vancouverite who studied History, Political Science and Law at University of British Columbia. His over 20 years of legal practice and a busy and active family gives him his purpose, focus and some good writing material. When not in work–mode, he enjoys any excuse to be out and about our amazing city.