Between 1990 and 2011, more than 380,000 children were treated in U.S. emergency departments for television-related injuries. This is roughly equal to one child getting injured every 30 minutes. Most of those injuries were caused by a falling television, and children under 5 years old made up 64 percent of the patients treated.
Awareness must be increased because curious children can climb dressers and TV stands in hopes of turning on or touching the television. Most injuries occur in children under 5, and head and neck injuries are amongst the most common. Parents must pay close attention to where their kids are climbing, especially around older and heavier TV set models.
“This is a problem that is increasing at an alarming rate,” said lead author Dr. Gary Smith, a pediatric emergency specialist and president of the Child Injury Prevention Alliance in Columbus, Ohio.
A study posted in the journal Pediatrics indicated that in 2011, 12,300 children nationwide got ER treatment for TV-related injuries, compared with 5,455 in 1990. The injury rate nearly doubled, from 0.85 injuries per 10,000 children aged 17 and younger in 1990 to 1.66 per 10,000 in 2011, the study found.
Most of the cases occurred as a result of children trying to climb open drawers of dressers to reach up to the TV.
Over these two decades, 215 children died from television injuries and reports indicate that since January 2012, at least six young children have been killed nationwide by falling TVs.
If deciding to keep a television heavier set, be sure to mount the television to the wall or floor with brackets or other specially designed tethers. The Consumer Product Safety Commission further indicates that you should anchor TV’s to sturdy surface areas that are not reachable by children.