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TV tip-over can lead to injuries
Parents urged to secure any large sets to avoid accidents
Bryan Davis, right, shows Claude Sullens a safety feature Friday at Wofford TV Sales and Service on a 55-inch LCD television that keeps it from tipping over in the home. The feature allows the owner to attach the base to a surface if the television is not being mounted to a wall. - photo by Scott Rogers | The Times

Tips to prevent tip-over

- Asses the stability of televisions in the home
- Mount flat screen TVs to the wall to reduce the risk of falling over. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to protect the wall and have a secure fit.
- Old-styled, large and heavy televisions should be placed on a low, stable piece of furniture.

- Use brackets, braces or wall straps to secure unstable or top-heavy furniture to walls.
- Install stops on dresser drawers to prevent them from being pulled all the way out, which could cause the weight to shift, making it easier to fall over.
- Keep heavier items down low
- Avoid putting tempting items like remotes, toys and food in places where children may climb to reach them

Source: Safe Kids, SANUS

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.