Over the decades, television has provided entertainment for families. For many busy parents, televisions provide a much-needed distraction for children. However, TVs can also pose potential hazards. These hazards have become a growing concern among parents with small children.
The latest report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows that the highest number of TV and furniture tip-over fatalities occurred in 2011. An estimated 43,000 consumers are injured each year due to tip-over accidents.
Young Children at Greatest Risk for Tip-Over Accidents
According to the CPSC, 22,000 children (8 years old and under) are treated each year in hospital emergency rooms for injuries related to unstable furniture, TVs, or appliances.
As Minnesotans replace their old, bulky TVs with updated flat screen televisions, these older TVs are moved into bedrooms and are often improperly secured. As a result, 40% of home TV tip-over accidents commonly happen in the bedroom.
A television placed on an unsecured bookcase, dresser, table or entertainment center could put children (especially small ones that like to climb) at risk for tip-over accidents. Keep your family safe by following these safety guidelines.
Child-Proof Your Furniture
Child-proofing your home goes beyond just checking electrical outlets and installing toddler gates. SafeKids USA reports that child-related injuries from TV tip-overs rose 31 percent in the past ten years.
It only takes a climbing toddler or curious pet to accidentally knock over furniture that can cause your TV to crash down on your child.
Before placing heavy old tube TVs on furniture, secure unstable furniture by using braces, brackets or wall straps.
When purchasing an entertainment unit or TV stand, make sure it’s made out of sturdy, durable materials or wood. Choose units with solid, wide bases that are low to the ground.
Before you place TVs on dressers, place stops on drawers to prevent kids from pulling drawers all the way out. When multiple drawers are open at once, the weight shifts and can cause both the dresser and TV to fall onto the child.
Make sure children, especially toddlers learning to walk, don’t hang on or climb on entertainment and shelving units that hold TVs.
Television Safety Checklist
In order to protect your family and prevent TV tip-overs, follow these safety guidelines recommended by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI):
Securely mount flat screen television to walls. Attach TV mounts to wall studs and not just drywall. Carefully read and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
Push television as far back as possible from the front of the stand.
Do not place attractive items such as remote controls, toys, candy dishes, etc. on or near TV stands. Keep them hidden away so children won’t reach or grab for them.
To avoid kids from tripping over or tugging on cords, place electrical/cable cords out of the reach and sight of children.
Supervise your children at all times. Accidents can still happen when your back is turned for just a few seconds or when you walk out of the room.