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Children have been victims of falling TV sets


Last updated 12/13/2007 at Noon

SAN DIEGO — Rady Children’s Hospital wants to get the word out about the dangers of falling television sets in homes.

The warning comes just days after a local 3-year-old died when a television and dresser fell on her.

The hospital’s trauma team is seeing an increasing number of kids injured by toppling television and furniture. Injuries range from broken arms and legs to severe head injuries.

“In the last 15 months, 15 children have been seen in the hospital’s trauma unit after being injured by falling televisions and/or furniture,” says Sue Cox, Rady’s Trauma Services Director.

“Circumstances vary, but most of the cases involved the child attempting to climb to get to a television and either pulling the television off of the furniture or, more often, pulling both the furniture and television onto themselves.”

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission approximately 8,000 to 10,000 children are treated in emergency departments each year because of these “tip-over” injuries, including about six deaths annually.

Important facts

• Newer televisions are front-heavy and easy to tip over. They are becoming substantially larger and have been popular holiday gifts in recent years.

• Televisions, especially larger ones, on inadequate or unstable supports pose a serious injury risk to children.

• Many of the injuries in San Diego included tall dressers and bookcases with televisions on top of them. None of the furniture or the televisions were secured in any way.

What a caregiver can do

• Use an anchor and/or angle brace to secure furniture to the wall.

• Place the television on a low piece of furniture as far back as it will go.

• Make sure the television stand is sturdy, is designed for and can handle the weight of the TV and does not easily tip over.

• Anchor the TV to the wall with an appliance strap.

• Clear the TV and stand of any items that children might climb to reach (toys, movies, books and the like)

• Do not place a VCR and/or DVD player on top of the television, where a child might attempt to climb to access it.


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