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TV tip-over can lead to injuries

Parents urged to secure any large sets to avoid accidents

POSTED: December 21, 2012 11:59 p.m.

This holiday season it seems like everyone has a television on their Christmas wish list.

While the newer model televisions come with some improvements, they also tend to be top-heavy with narrow bases.

According to a report released by Safe Kids Worldwide and SANUS, every three weeks a child dies from a television tipping over.

The report which includes data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission said there are nearly 13,000 more children injured each year across the county. That represents a 31 percent increase in the last 10 years, according to the report.

Kimberly Martin, Safe Kids of Gainesville and Hall County coalition coordinator, said there haven’t been any reports of deaths or injuries in the area attributed to falling TVs, but that shouldn’t stop parents from taking steps to prevent such an accident.

Martin said it’s important to educate parents and caregivers on ways to secure big-screen sets so they don’t fall over.

“For the most part, (TVs) are getting bigger and flatter, unless they’re strapped to a wall or bolted to a wall, kids are susceptible to injuries,” Martin said.

The report shows that children under age 5 are most likely to be injured by a television tip-over. This age group accounts for 90 percent of serious injuries that require hospitalization and serious head injuries.

Straps and brackets to secure televisions are available at most electronic and hardware stores. However, according to the report, only a quarter of parents secure their televisions to the wall.

Most parents may be unaware of the danger. Some may have concerns about damaging their walls or not installing the television properly.

“You wouldn’t think to bring a baby home from the hospital without a car seat or have your child ride a bike without a helmet,” Dr. Mohak Dave, medical director of emergency services at Northeast Georgia Medical Center, said. “Similarly, securing your TV will go a long way in protecting your family.”

Martin said the risk of a tip-over injury isn’t just limited to televisions.

Tall furniture could easily fall over on a child, especially if they try to climb on it.

Martin said with so many people shopping for the holidays, it’s perfect timing to remind them that a few safety precautions could prevent an injury.

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