It is that time – holiday break for thousands of children all over the nation. As children are released from school and have long periods of time at home, make sure your home is safe so that your children enjoy a safe holiday break. A new report released by Safe Kids Worldwide and SANUS revealed that every three weeks, a child dies from a television tipping over and nearly 13,000 more children are injured each year in the U.S. This represents a 31 percent increase in TV tip-over related injuries over the last 10 years.
The results of the report, A Report to the Nation on Home Safety: The Dangers of TV Tip-Overs, include data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and new findings from Safe Kids Worldwide’s primary research. According to the CPSC, from 2000-2010, on average, a child dies every three weeks.
The report shows that young children are at greatest risk of TV tip-overs. According to the research, seven out of 10 children injured by TV tip-overs are five years old or younger. This age group also accounts for nine out of 10 serious injuries requiring hospitalization, including head injuries, which are among the most severe.
Many TV tip-overs are a result of unsteady TVs that are not secured to the wall. Flat screen TVs that are top-heavy with narrow bases can be easily pulled off an entertainment center or table. Large and heavy old-style cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs placed on dressers or high furniture can also tip over if children climb the drawers to reach a remote control, a piece of candy, a video game or anything else that attracts their attention.
The report also revealed that three out of four parents don’t secure their TV to the wall. Most families are unaware that securing a TV is an important safety measure. Others decide not to mount their TVs because of concerns about damaging the wall or installing the TV incorrectly.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging parents of young children to anchor and stabilize their televisions, furniture, and appliances to prevent tip-over related incidents. In a quest to reach a toy, TV or game remote, or other desired item, young children are using dressers and tables as climbing devices and the results are tragic. A recent CPSC report shows that 349 consumers (84 percent of them were children younger than age 9) were killed between 2000 and 2011, when TVs, furniture or appliances toppled over onto them. Last year (2011) had the highest one-year number of fatalities reported. The 41 recorded fatalities is an increase from 31 in 2010 and 27 in 2009. “We know that low-cost anchoring devices are effective in preventing tip-over incidents,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.
CPSC estimates that more than 43,000 consumers are injured each year in tip-over incidents. More than 25,000 (59 percent) of those injuries are to children under the age of 18. Falling furniture accounts for more than half (52 percent) of the injury reports. Falling televisions have proven to be more deadly, as they are associated with more than half (62 percent) of reported fatalities.
Young children are at greatest risk of TV tip-overs. According to research by Safe Kids Worldwide, 7 out of 10 children 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. It is reported that there is a 31 percent increase in TV tip over related injuries over the last ten years for children. Nearly 13,000 more children are injured each year and according to the CPSC, from 2000-2010, on average, a child dies every three weeks. œEvery 45 minutes, or less than the length of a Sesame Street episode, a child visits the ER because of a TV tipping over, said Kate Carr, President and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. œDramas and tragedies should be on TV, not caused by them.
To help prevent tip-over tragedies, CPSC recommends the following safety measures in homes where children live or visit:
- Anchor furniture to the wall or the floor.
- Place TVs on sturdy, low bases, or anchor the furniture and the TV on top the base, and push the TV as far back on the furniture as possible.
- Keep remote controls, toys, and other items that might attract children off of TV stands or furniture.
- Keep TV and/or cable cords out of reach of children.
- Make sure freestanding kitchen ranges and stoves are installed with anti-tip brackets.
- Supervise children in rooms where these safety tips have not been followed.