Most parents of young children know to keep toxic cleaners out of reach and secure kitchen cabinets, but they may have overlooked a commonplace hazard. According to a new from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), falling TVs account for a growing number of injuries, mostly to children.
Of the 43,000 or so people each year injured by a toppling TV or other furniture, more than 25,000 are children under the age of 18. In 2011, tip-overs killed 41 people, the highest-yet recorded number, the commission said.
Around 40 percent of fatalities happen in a bedroom. As families buy flat screen televisions for their living rooms and other gathering places, their older and often heavier televisions are moved into bedrooms without the proper stand or anchoring device accompanying them, the CPSC said. However, there's a simple fix.
"We know that low-cost anchoring devices are effective in preventing tip-over incidents," Inez Tenenbaum, head of the CPSC, said in a statement. Devices such as the KidCo Anti-Tip TV Strap are available from Amazon.com for around $10.
In addition to using an anchoring device, TVs should be placed on sturdy, low bases and pushed as far back toward a wall as possible. Further, keep remote controls , toys and other items that might attract children off of TV stands, and make sure cables and other cords are out of reach.