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Honey-Do List: Securing the Television

Safe Kids USA and SANUS recently released a new research report entitled “A Report to The Nation on Home Safety: The Dangers of TV Tip-Overs” revealing from 2000 to 2010, on average, every three weeks, a child dies from a television tipping over. To put that into perspective, that means every 45 minutes, or less than the length of a Sesame Street episode, a child is sent to the emergency department due to a TV tip-over.  Nearly 13,000 children aged 19 and under are injured in the U.S. each year by a television tipping over – a 31 percent increase over the last ten years.

I did a little digging into Dayton Children’s emergency numbers at in 2011; thirty-five children visited the Soin Pediatric Trauma and Emergency Center due to a television tip over.  That same year, 75 children visited the emergency department for injuries resulting from a large object, in most cases a large piece of furniture, falling on the child. Nationwide, 7 out of 10 kids injured by TV tip-overs are 5 years-old or younger.  This age group also accounts for 9 out of 10 serious injuries requiring hospitalization, including head injuries which are among the most severe.

These injuries can be devastating and sometime deadly. Take a few minutes to scan your home for these dangers.

Here are some tips from Safe Kids USA

  • Assess the stability of the TVs in your home.
    - Remember, a curious, determined child can topple a TV.
    - Children playing with friends or pets could knock a TV over.
    - Other kids might be tempted to climb up to reach items placed on or near a TV, such as remote controls or candy.
  • Secure TVs
    - Mount flat screen TVs to the wall to reduce the risk of TVs toppling off stands. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you protect your wall and have a secure fit.
    - If you have a large, heavy, old-style cathode ray tube (CRT) TV, place it on a low, stable piece of furniture.

 

Other Important Tips for Furniture

  • Secure Furniture
    • Use brackets, braces or wall straps to secure unstable or top-heavy furniture to the wall.
    • Install stops on dresser drawers to prevent them from being pulled all the way out. Multiple open drawers can cause the weight to shift, making it easier for a dresser to fall.
  • Rearrange Household Items
    • Keep heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers.
    • Avoid placing remote controls, food, toys or other items in places where kids might be tempted to climb up or reach for them.

Shortly before this research report came out, securing some furniture to the wall was on my honey-do list! I hope it’s on yours as well!

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We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.

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