The Super Bowl is about a week away and many families across the country are gearing up for game day celebrations.
Because TVs will be such a large part of Super Sunday, my colleagues in the Comprehensive Children’s Injury Center and I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss the injury risks associated with TVs and share some steps you can take to keep your kids safe during the weekend festivities and throughout the year.
For perspective a study published in the August 2013 issue of Pediatrics found that more than 17,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency departments each year for a television-related injury – approximately one child every 30 minutes.
The study found that children under age 5 represented the majority of injured patients and nearly three quarters of those injuries are caused by TVs falling onto the child. In almost half of the cases studied, the television fell from a dresser or armoire and about 30 percent fell from an entertainment center or TV stand.
TVs of all sizes are potential hazards, but big screens and older style “box TVs” are of particular concern because they are so heavy. Newer flat screen TVs can also be top heavy and unsteady on their base, making them easier to tip.
The cords on all TVs can also be a problem, as children can pull on the cord causing the TV to fall on top of them.
Here are five simple things you can do to help prevent TV tip-overs:
1. Place TVs on low, stable pieces of furniture
2. Install safety anchors or anti-tip devices on every TV that is not mounted to a wall
3. Do not put remote controls or toys on top of TVs – lessening the chance that a child will try to climb and reach them.
4. Keep cords out of reach so the child can’t pull on them
5. Recycle any old TVs that you are no longer using
As you’re going through your pre-party check-list, please do this quick check to make sure your TVs are all placed properly and safely secured. A few minutes and some simple steps can help keep the kiddos out of harm’s way and perhaps save a trip to the emergency department!