TV tip-overs…dangerous and all too common

Alarming reports of children being killed or injured by television tip-overs are headlining newscasts with ever-increasing frequency. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, a child dies from a TV tip-over every three weeks in the United States, and another 13,000 are injured each year—a rise of 31 percent over the last 10 years. Children ages 5 and younger account for over 70 percent of tip-over injuries, and over 90 percent of injuries requiring hospitalization.

Tip-overs are commonly caused by a dangerous combination of factors: TVs that are not secured to a wall and inquisitive or rambunctious children. Newer flat-screen TVs may be lighter than the older cathode ray tube TVs, but are more unstable and still pack enough weight to cause serious harm when they are toppled and fall on children.

TVs of any kind placed on top of high furniture pose hazards as well. Children often climb up dressers, chests of drawers, and other furniture, and use open drawers as rungs. Uneven weight distribution leads to tip-overs. Keep toys, video games, and the remote away from the TV…anything that grabs a child’s attention and prompts them to reach and climb.

Safe Kids Worldwide recommends that all televisions, bookcases, shelving, and other heavy furniture be anchored to the wall whenever possible. Televisions should be placed in lower, more stable positions as well.

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