I’m pretty cautious as it relates to all things child safety. I’m kind of overboard (many might even say fanatic) when it comes to car seats, SIDS, safe sleep, and other child injury topics. However, nobody is perfect, and I am ashamed to say I haven’t taken the steps to prevent or protect my own kids from a serious safety issue in my own home. This is definitely one of the most used objects in our home, and odds are you have and use one in your home also. Over 96% of the US population households own at least one; the majority has more than one. If you guessed, TVs, you’re right!
When I started to research this topic, I was blown away with the statistics. I was shocked to learn that every 3 weeks a child dies due to a TV tipping over. I was more alarmed by the number of injuries that occur every day by non-secured TVs. Nearly 13,000 are injured each year, with young children being at greatest risk and most occurring to children 5 years old or younger. “Every 45 minutes, or less than the length of a Sesame Street episode, a child visits the ER because of a TV tipping over,” said Kate Carr, President and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “Dramas and tragedies should be ON TV, not caused by them.”
Why haven’t I heard or seen more education about prevention related to this topic? Am I alone here in my thinking? It seems to me that if children are dying and being injured in such large numbers, there needs to be more awareness about the topic to ensure parents take the precautions needed to keep their kids safe!
My kids are climbers, and we have taken precautions to mount the furniture in their rooms to the walls to prevent a tragedy. However, the big flat screen TV in our living room, where we spend the most time when home, is not secured. I even have to tell my kids repeatedly not to touch the TV when they are watching their favorite shows. Side note, is it just me or do the characters always ask questions that makes children want to touch the right answer on the TV? Oh and I don’t want to even think about how many times I have to pull my 3 year old (aka Tarzan) or 2 year old (aka Jane) down from climbing up the entertainment center. Just more reasons that the TV needs to be anchored!
It’s clear a disaster could happen in our home, but I guess I think it can’t, or won’t, happen to us. I’m overly paranoid about my kids being properly secured in their car seats but when I think about it, they spend way more time in our house than in the car. It is time to get my priorities straight. If every 45 minutes a child is visiting the ER due to a TV tipping over, what makes me think my kids have a bubble protecting them from a horrific accident like this from occurring?
How to prevent tip-overs
Luckily, this is a quick, simple and inexpensive fix, and I can assure you it will be corrected at my house this week. Most major retailers have TV mounts and furniture straps in supply or you can easily find them online. Be sure to secure both furniture and TVs properly so nothing can tip over and injure a child. In addition to properly securing furniture and TVs, avoid placing remote controls, toys, candy dishes, or other items in places where kids might be tempted to climb up and reach for them.
Toddlers are curious, quick to move and determined when it comes to something they want. Prevention is key to keep them safe! Children playing with siblings, friends or pets could also knock a TV over in a matter of seconds. It’s proven that low-cost anchoring devices are effective in preventing tip-over incidents. It takes minutes, and it can save lives!