Falling TV dangers

 
By HSC Staff Writer • Published: September 12th, 2006
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
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This probably isn’t the first report you’ve heard about television’s potential harm to children. But it MIGHT be your first warning NOT against content or programming, but the real physical danger of falling T-V sets.

Although injuries from toppled televisions usually aren’t severe, pediatric researchers say the potential for tragedy does exist, so adults need to be more aware and take better precautions.

A Texas group of university pediatricians reviewed a year’s worth of emergency department cases involving children injured by toppled televisions sets. The usual cause was climbing toddlers or someone accidentally knocking over the T-V. Their findings appeared recently in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine.

Researchers cited a lack of parental awareness and an absence of primary prevention as the root causes for this problem. Eighty-five percent of parents interviewed said they weren’t aware of the potential danger.

Structural design’s part of the problem. Most of a television’s weight is placed toward the front of the unit. If it’s not placed on a stable or secured surface, the imbalanced weight distribution increases the potential for toppling forward.

It’s estimated that twenty-three-hundred children annually visit emergency rooms for injuries due to falling T-V’s. In the published yearlong study, one Texas hospital E-R treated twenty-six young children injured by falling televisions.

The researchers called for manufacturers to provide or include an inexpensive furniture-securing device such as a strap, and to add labels warning of the potential dangers of units toppling.

In other words, keep reality T-V on screen, not off.