January 28, 2020

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.

Now that both Super Bowl teams have been determined, millions of Americans will be tuning in for the biggest sporting attraction of the year.

Safety experts at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt hope that as viewers are glued to their TVs, they will also focus on safety.

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, on average, 10 children go to the emergency room every day because of a TV tip-over, and every three weeks a child dies from a TV falling over on him or her.

“If you purchase a 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 Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

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

Unni noted that with the high demand to watch the big game, manufacturers seize the opportunity to price TVs to sell prior to Super Bowl Sunday. According to Consumer Reports, Super Bowl Sunday is the second-best time to buy a new TV, behind Black Friday in November.

“There are so many things to think about when getting ready for Super Bowl, especially if you are planning a gathering. It’s like its own holiday. It’s easy to get caught up in all the planning.

“TV tip-overs are a hidden hazard in a home. Securing a newly-purchased TV or ensuring that the TV currently in the home is not a tipping hazard should also be a part of the checklist,” urged Unni.

Safety tips include:

  • Mounting a flat-panel TV to the wall;
  • Placing an older box-style TV on low, stable furniture;
  • Anchoring furniture/TV stand to the wall studs using anti-tipping hardware;
  • Removing tempting objects like toys and remote controls from the top of TVs and furniture to discourage children from climbing up to reach them.

According to the “Product Instability or Tip-over Injuries and Fatalities Associated with Televisions, Furniture and Appliances: 2019 Report,” the estimated emergency room-treated injuries due to product instability or tip-overs among children under the age of 18 for TVs only was 2,000 for 2018. In 2017 there were 3,300 reported and 2016 saw 3,800.

In 2015 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission launched its Anchor It Campaign to help prevent furniture and TV tip-overs from seriously injuring or killing children.