Threat of TV's tipping is all too real

Threat of TV's tipping is all too real
BENTON-FRANKLIN HEALTH DISTRICT NEWS RELEASE -- The death of a Richland toddler is a sad reminder of the dangers posed by televisions and furniture to children. One child dies every three weeks on average in the US from a television tipping over on them and nearly 13,000 more are injured annually.

Top-heavy furniture, televisions, and appliances can be unsteady, and if pulled or climbed on, they can tip over and seriously injure young children. From 2001 to 2011, injuries from TV tip-overs increased by 31 percent. Young children are at greatest risk and 70 percent of those injured are 5 years old or younger.

“What makes these injuries and deaths even sadder is that they are completely preventable,” said Kathleen Clary-Cooke, coordinator of Safe Kids Benton-Franklin. “Many people are worried that securing a television to the wall will damage the TV or the wall, but they never dream that it could hurt or kill their child.”

Safe Kids Benton-Franklin urges families to conduct a quick TV safety check to assess the stability of the televisions in their home. Remember that a curious, determined child can topple a TV. Children playing with friends or pets can knock a TV over, while other kids might be tempted to climb up to reach items placed on or near a TV, such as remote controls, DVDS, or candy.
Along with other childproofing, families should take the following steps to increase safety in their homes:

Secure TVs – mount flat screen TVs to the wall following manufacturer’s instructions. If you have a large, heavy, old-style cathode-ray tube TV, place it on a low, stable piece of furniture.
Secure Furniture – Use brackets, braces or wall straps to secure unstable or top-heavy furniture and appliances to the wall. Install stops on dresser drawers to prevent them from being pulled all the way out. Multiple open drawers can cause the weight to shift, making it easier for a dresser to fall.

Rearrange Household Items – keep heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers and avoid placing remote controls, toys, food, or other items in places where kids might be tempted to climb up or reach for them.