Every 30 minutes a falling TV sends a child to an emergency room

More television sets in the home can do more than increase the electric bill — they also can increase the odds for a TV tip-over accident.

In fact, a new study has uncovered some pretty unsettling statistics about the number of children injured by falling TVs. Nearly 400,000 children were treated in emergency rooms for TV-related injuries from 1990 to 2011. Nearly 250 children — an increase of 31 percent — have died during the past decade as the result of a falling TV, according to research by Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Boys are more prone to be injured by a TV tip-over, and children under age 5 are most likely to be taken to an ER with injuries to their head, neck, legs, ankles and other body parts.

“These injuries most often occur when the television falls from a dresser onto the child,” said Erika Janes, R.N., Children’s Hospital Foundation Office of Child Advocacy of Norton Children’s Hospital and leader of Safe Kids Louisville and Jefferson County.

The study showed another 31 percent of injuries were caused by a TV falling from an entertainment center or TV stand.

“Be sure to watch young children around these items in the house because a lot of times they will try to climb on top of a dresser or other piece of furniture — and end up pulling everything down on top of them,” Janes said.

Other ways to help prevent tip-over accidents are to:

  • Use metal brackets to secure all appliances and furniture to the wall or floor.
  • Use metal brackets to secure all TVs and other heavy objects placed on top of, or in, furniture.
  • Keep remote controls, games or other objects that might attract children off TV stands and furniture.

Even the ever-popular flat-screen TVs can be dangerous around young children. Because they are lighter, they are even more likely to tip over than the older, bulkier televisions.

Referring to these older models, Janes said, “Because of its weight, a 36-inch CRT television falling three feet creates the same momentum as a 1-year-old child falling 10 stories.”

For information on how to prevent a tip-over accident, contact the Children’s Hospital Foundation Office of Child Advocacy of Norton Children’s Hospital at (502) 629-7358.

–Stephanie Doyle


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