Child Falling Televisions Tips
Of them, 84 percent of the fatalities were children younger than 9. The government agency estimates there are some 43,000 “tip-over” accidents each year in the United States, and 70 percent involve TV sets and furniture.
The report finds a large majority of these incidents occur when a child climbs on furniture to reach a toy, remote, or video game remote control, or to turn on a television set.
Nearly half of these accidents occur in bedrooms. The report suggests many of the televisions involved in these injuries are older, clunky CRT sets that have been moved to another room and placed on a bureau or dresser, once a family upgrades to a flat screen television.
The majority of these deaths — around 62 percent — are from improperly secured television sets, which can weigh an average 50 to 100 pounds. A great number of these accidents result in severe head injuries. There were 41 tip-over fatalities in 2011, which is the highest number, compared with 31 in 2010 and 27 deaths in 2009.
The agency urges parents take extra measures to ensure large appliances and furniture are stabilized and properly installed in their home, and also to educate their children about the dangers of climbing on furniture. As the watchdog for consumer product safety, the CPSC offers several tips to prevent tip-over accidents at home:
- Anchor all furniture to the walls or floors.
- Secure TVs to the tops of furniture that are customized to hold such devices.
- Cover appliance cords and cable wires and keep them out of reach from children.
- Use brackets for free-standing kitchen appliances and stoves.
- Childproof your entire home and don’t leave children unsupervised in rooms where furniture, TVs, and other appliances have not been properly secured.