1. Health
Vincent Iannelli, M.D.

TV and Furniture Tip-Over Deaths Reach Record Levels

By December 13, 2012

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We are seeing some gains in child safety, such as that fewer children are dying in car accidents since states started requiring them to sit in booster seats.

Unfortunately, some things are putting our kids more at risk. A new report from the CPSC, for example, has found that the number of people who were killed in tip-over related incidents, when a TV, appliance, or dresser, etc., toppled over onto them, has been increasing.

In 2011, there were 41 tip-over related deaths, the highest ever recorded.

The CPSC also reports that:

  • there 349 tip-over related deaths since 2000, with 84% in children less than 9-years-old.
  • over 43,000 people, mostly children, are injured each year in tip-over related incidents.
  • falling furniture causes just over half of tip-over related incidents, but falling televisions causes about 62% of deaths.
  • many incidents occur when older, bulkier CRT televisions are replaced by a new flat screen in the living room or family room and the older TV gets moved to a bedroom to be used as a second TV, where it gets placed on a dresser, bureau, or table.

Although tragic, the good news is that these tip-over injuries and deaths can be prevented by using an appropriate TV stand (sturdy with a low base, with the TV as far back as possible on the base), anchoring furniture to the wall or floor, and anchoring the TV on top of the furniture.

You should also keep the TV remote control, toys, and other items that your child might reach for off the top of the TV and furniture that your child might try to climb.

Most importantly, in addition to anchoring furniture to the wall, never allow your kids to use the drawers of a dresser to climb and reach something higher up. That is a common way for furniture to tip over.

Is your family getting a new TV for Christmas? Did you buy a good stand for it and some anchors? Do you have a plan to secure your old TV, your furniture, and freestanding kitchen ranges and stoves?

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Hidden Dangers
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