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Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital safety experts warn of TV tip-overs as hidden hazard in homes

Jan. 28, 2019, 9:46 AM


by Jessica Pasley

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 for the big game, they will also focus on safety.

(iStock image)

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, on average, 10 children go to the emergency room 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 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, manufactures 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

An annual average of 28,300 emergency room-treated injuries from TV instability or tip-overs between 2015-2017 were recently documented in “Product Instability or Tip-over Injuries and Fatalities Associated with Televisions, Furniture and Appliances: 2018 Report.”

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.

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