By Arthur Elk
With tax season upon us, you may be considering using part of your tax refund to buy a new TV for your family. If you do, what are you doing with your old one? Putting it in one of your children’s bedrooms? Most of us would never consider a TV as a danger. But for parents with young children, TVs or any other piece of large furniture can become deadly and one watchdog group is reminding parents about the danger.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is urging parents to anchor and stabilize their TVs, furniture and appliances to avoid tip-over related accidents.
A new CPSC report issued in December shows that falling TV sets have killed more than 200 children since 2000. In 2011 alone, 29 people – mostly children – were killed by falling TVs in the USA and another 18,000 people are treated for injuries from falling TVs. According to Kate Carr, president of Safe Kids Worldwide, every three weeks a child dies from a tipped-over TV.
According to the CPSC report, TVs aren’t the only dangerous household item:
- More than 43,000 people are hurt each year as the result of TVs or furniture tipping over, with more than 25,000 of those hurt being children.
- Between 2000 and 2011, 349 people were killed when TVs, furniture or appliances toppled over onto them; 84 percent of them were children younger than age 9.
- Falling TVs caused 62 percent of the 349 deaths, making it the most dangerous piece of furniture.
- In 2011, 41 fatalities were recorded, an increase from 31 in 2010 and 27 in 2009.
Why is this becoming such a serious issue? Experts say as families buy newer, thinner, lighter televisions for their family rooms or living rooms, the older, heavier TVs are being relegated to children’s bedrooms or basements where they may not be as secure, sitting on a dresser or other large piece of furniture.
According to a survey conducted by Safe Kids Worldwide in September, 3 percent of parents had secured traditional cathode ray tube TVs to walls and furniture, just 5 percent had secured flat-screen sets to furniture and 28 percent had attached them to walls, which experts say is the safest choice. But if you can’t anchor your TV to the wall, experts suggest you place your TV on a low, sturdy base and remove any items from the top of the TV such as remotes that might attract children.
Many of the children who are injured or killed in these accidents as the result of playing near a TV or furniture, or because they are climbing on the furniture. The personal injury attorneys of Elk & Elk want you and your family to be safe, which is why we urge anyone with children in their home to make sure that TVs and large pieces of furniture are secure.
If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the Ohio personal injury attorneys of Elk & Elk today at 1-800-ELK-OHIO or by filling out our online consultation form.