Children | Safety
February 5, 2016

Big game weekend a perfect time to secure TVs against tip-overs

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Unsecured televisions can topple and cause child injury and even death. Learn how to prevent this.

 

This weekend, eyes will be glued to the television so as not to miss a single play — or a single commercial — of the Super Bowl broadcast.

But a child safety expert at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt says that before viewers focus on what’s on the screen, they should take a minute to focus on the television itself and take steps to keep their TV from tipping over. Small children can accidentally topple heavy TVs onto themselves if they’re climbing on furniture or knock into an unstable table.

“If you purchase a new TV for the game, or if you have one at home that is not secured, it is crucial to properly secure it to prevent tipping,” said Purnima Unni, MPH, CHES, Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program manager at Children’s Hospital.

That can mean either mounting the TV on the wall, or, if the TV is on a stand, place it on a lower stand, anchor the stand to the wall studs and anchor the TV to the back of the stand.

“During the excitement and distractions of an exciting game or a noisy gathering, it is too easy for a quick-moving child to pull over an unsecured television,” Unni said.

A television falling on a child is not uncommon. Safe Kids Worldwide says that every hour, on average, a child goes to an emergency room because of a TV tip-over, and every three weeks, a child dies from a TV falling on him or her.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 38,000 emergency department-treated injuries and 430 reported fatalities associated with TV, furniture and appliance tip-overs occurred between 2000 and 2013.

“There are so many things to think about when getting ready for a Super Bowl party — but the safety of your children or the children of your guests should be at the top of the list,” Unni said.

To prevent a tip-over tragedy:

  • Use sturdy furniture: Televisions should only be placed on furniture designed to hold a television, such as television stands or media centers.
  • Secure your TV: Televisions that are not wall mounted should still be anchored to the wall.
  • Mount flat-screen TVs: Mount flat-screen TVs to the wall or to furniture to prevent them from toppling over.
  • Follow instructions: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to secure TVs and furniture properly.
  • Low and stable – CRT TV: Cathode ray tube (non-flat-screen) televisions should only be placed on furniture designed to hold a television, and should be anchored to the wall or the TV stand.
  • Secure top-heavy furniture: Existing furniture can be anchored with inexpensive anti-tip brackets. New furniture is often sold with anti-tip devices. Install them right away.
  • Remove tempting objects: Remove items that might tempt kids to climb, such as toys and remote controls, from the top of the TV and furniture.

 

Stay safe. Learn more about this and other safety topics here.

Safety, Early Childhood

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