COLUMBUS – As Ohioans prepare for upcoming Super Bowl festivities, safety experts are cautioning party planners about the injury risks associated with television tip-overs.
Research finds that more than 17,000 children are treated in emergency rooms nationally each year for injuries related to a TV tip-over. That’s about one child every 30 minutes, said Dawne Gardner, an injury-prevention specialist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. She said the risk is even greater during the big game, because televisions often are moved to different rooms to accommodate more people and are not properly secured.
“You’re just not paying as much attention to the TV placement and if it really is correct,” she said, “just with the mindset, ‘Oh it’s just going to be here temporarily.’ That creates an even greater risk for the TV to be able to tip over and hurt a child.”
Gardner recommended placing televisions on low, stable pieces of furniture and installing safety anchors on any TV that isn’t mounted to a wall. She advised against placing remote controls or toys on top of a television set so little ones are not tempted to climb up to reach them.
Cords should be kept out of sight so children don’t pull on them and cause the TV to fall, Gardner said. Regardless of the style or size, she said, any television set has the potential to harm a child.
“You have those larger, box TVs that are just top-heavy, and then you have the flat screens that, even though they’re thin, they’re still unstable depending on the stand that you have them on,” she said. “They’re just so big. When they fall over, they have the potential to crush the child entirely.”
Gardner said most children injured in a TV tip-over accident are under age 5.
The research is online at pediatrics.aappublications.org.