Protecting children from TV tip-overs

Child safety sign (KSN File Photo)

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WICHITA, Kansas – A 2-year-old girl in Salina died Tuesday after a TV fell on her. The incident isn’t as uncommon as many may think with thousands of children getting injured and sometimes killed each year from such an incident.

Predominantly the incident involves older style televisions placed on an unstable platform. Even the smallest touch of the front of the screen or controls can send it toppling over.

It’s a scary sight for many parents and one that seems to be a hidden hazard.

“This is much more prevalent than people know,” said Ronda Lusk, Kansas Safe Kids Coalition coordinator. “We’re losing one child every 3 weeks to TV tip-overs.”

Safe Kids Worldwide’s latest numbers show that in a 10-year span between 2000 to 2010, 169 children under the age of 17 died when a TV came crashing down on them. Also, an estimated 13,000 were injured every year.

One way to combat against a TV tip-over is to use a furniture strap and secure it to the nearest wall.

But while TVs are the main cause for concern, other unstable furniture can do the same damage.

The study also found between 2008 and 2010, more than 11,000 children were injured each year in furniture related accidents.

Wayne Butterfield with Indian Hills Hardware says there are tools and practices that can be used to safeguard your children.

“Make sure that you’re using shelving, brackets such as this that are suitable for the weight of the object that you’re going to be using. That you have anchors that will hold securely,” said Butterfield.

Butterfield adds that while many parents try to shortcut their way through this process.

He says it is always best to test these tools.

“If you want to set something on a stand, on a dresser, on a table, you have to test it and make sure there is no way you can pull it over,” said Butterfield.

One wise tip for parents to help make sure they are keeping there children out of harms way is to have a checklist similar to the one provided by Safe Kids Worldwide. The link to that page is below.

It details several things from assessing the stability of your TV to the kinds of tools you should be using to secure unstable surfaces.

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