TVs tip over on toddlers with surprising frequency, causing injuries and deaths

(Washington Post:  Published 01/30/2015, Bernstein, Lenny, Web)

It’s not your imagination — Americans buy nearly three times as many televisions before the Super Bowl as they do before any other sporting event (the World Series is second, the NBA Finals third), according to the Consumer Electronics Association.  It’s what happens after you get that new set home that creates a largely unrecognized health hazard. The old TV often goes in a kid’s room or some other part of the home, usually on a dresser or another piece of furniture that’s not built to handle it. Curious kids climb the unstable TV-furniture combo and the whole thing tips over, resulting in a surprising number of injuries.  From 2011 to 2013, an average of 11,000 children under age 18 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries involving TVs or injuries involving both televisions and furniture, according to a new report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  From 2000 to 2013, 279 people were actually killed by falling TVs and furniture.

The solutions are pretty simple: anchoring TVs and furniture to walls as part of childproofing a home, and recycling old, heavy CRT televisions that are rarely used.  According to Marietta S. Robinson, commissioner of the CPSC, when parents put knives out of reach and childproof cabinet doors, “they should also think about anchoring their furniture to the wall.”  “This is a danger that people just don’t think of,” Robinson said.

“We’re asking families to add one important, and perhaps overlooked, task to their pregame prep,” Kate Carr, president and chief executive of Safe Kids Worldwide, said in a news release. “Take a look around your home. Can the flat-panel TV tip over? Have you moved the old CRT to a bedroom dresser where it rarely gets watched? On National TV Safety Day, recycle that old TV. Your home will be safer for it.”

TVs and furniture can be mounted on walls or anchored with straps and brackets, all of which can be purchased at low cost wherever the sets themselves are bought, officials said. If that’s impossible, TVs should be placed on low, stable piece of furniture, with the television pushed back as far as possible to the wall.

The lawyers at Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C., are concerned for the safety of children and serve victims and their families in Reading, Berks County, PA, Pottsville, Schuylkill County, PA, and throughout Eastern and Central PA.

From the desk of Adam K. Levin, Esquire.


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