Do you have your flat screen television mounted to the wall securely? If you still have an older model, is it secured by brackets or tethers? Parents regularly take precautions such as tethering large bookshelves or dressers to walls or locking cabinets, but television safety is often overlooked.
An annual average of 17, 313 children are injured by tipping or falling television sets each year, one study finds. The median age of children hurt was 3-years-old. Kids this age are very probing and don’t quite grasp cause and effect. Climbing on top of an entertainment system or standing on the edge of a table to reach the television can lead to disaster.
NPR recently highlighted the dangers of young children pulling televisions down on themselves, noting that “every 30 minutes a child ends up in the emergency room with injuries caused by a television.”
Head and neck injuries are very common with television accidents, as TVs are generally set up high… just out of an inquisitive child’s reach. Most of the children in the study suffered from bumps, cuts and bruises but some even ended up with concussions, which can be very dangerous to a young child.
A 2012 report by Safe Kids Worldwide said that one child dies every three weeks from a television-tipping related injury. This is shocking considering there are so many ways to prevent this type of tragedy.
Caregivers know that a determined child will make persistent attempts to touch or grab things even when they are told not to. To keep children safe we must take extra safety precautions. Mounting hardware and tethering kits are available at almost any store that television sets are sold as well as many baby stores. The extra effort it takes to install safety straps is well worth it when there are curious climbers in the house!
After drafting this post, I actually found a blurb about this problem in the new issue of Parents Magazine. I snapped a shot of it because it has helpful tips for keeping your child safe. TVsafety.org is also an excellent resource for simple solutions!