One of the most important appliances in a home these days is a television – or two. Flat screen television sets are quite popular. Their light weight makes it easy to put them in places where the older, heavier televisions did not fit. But, today’s sleek, sophisticated television sets may also present a hidden danger: Falling televisions send a child to the emergency room every 30 minutes, according to a study from the American Journal of Pediatrics.
It’s not unusual for a curious child to climb on a piece of furniture; and, if that dresser or nightstand holds a lightweight television set, injuries can occur. The lighter, top-heavy design of today’s flat-screens can make it easier for a child to pull a television over in an accident that can have tragic consequences or lead to serious, lifelong injuries.
Flat screen television sets aren’t the only problem, older cathode ray tube television sets placed on dressers or high furniture can also slide off if a child climbs a piece of furniture, using the drawers to get to the top. In fact, Safekids.org says that, because of its weight, a 36-inch CRT television failing three feet has the same momentum as a one-year-old failing 10 stories.
A child dies from a television set tipping over every two weeks, according to the U.S. Product Safety Commission. Safekids.org has described it as “growing trend.”
More than 17,000 children under age 18 are treated each year in emergency rooms across the United States for accidents involving television. Forty-six percent of the accidents involved a television set falling off a dresser or armoire, while 31 percent of the accidents were caused by a TV falling from an entertainment center or TV stand, according to one study.
Children under the age of 5 are the most at risk — accounting for 64 percent of the injuries. Toronto researchers recently found that toddlers between the ages of 1 and 3 years often suffered neck and head injuries, which could be fatal, according to a report published in the Journal of Neurosurgery Pediatrics.
The head and neck are the most commonly injured body parts. Injuries ranged from bruising, cuts, fractures and death. Some injuries are minor, but some children suffered traumatic brain injuries.
Most of the injured – about 61 percent — are boys.
SafeKids.org has offered tips on how to stabilize television sets:
- Mount flat-screen TVs to the wall to prevent them from toppling off stands. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure that you have a secure fit.
- If you have a large, heavy, old-style cathode ray tube television set, place it on a low, stable piece of furniture.
- Use brackets, braces or wall straps to hold the television in place.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Thomas J. Maronick certainly know and agree that we all want to keep Maryland’s children safe and sound. But, if you or a member of your family has suffered injuries because of this or any other type of accident, you might have a valid personal injury claim. You can contact Thomas Maronick at (410) 934-3007 or via our website for a free consultation.