Almost every American household has a television. Many have more than one. While parents are often concerned about their young children watching too much of it, these sets cause a greater hazard: Tip-Overs.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that just between 2011 and 2013, there were 11,000 children under the age of 18 treated in hospitals for injuries involving televisions or televisions and furniture. In fact, between 2000 and 2013, 430 people – mostly children under 10 – were killed as a result of a falling television and furniture.
When all types of furniture are factored in, there are 38,000 people treated annually in tip-over accidents. Again, most of these are children. To them, the home is a playground. They explore. They climb. But the result can be a serious injury or even fatality.
That’s why the CPSC is launching a comprehensive educational campaign to inform he public of this risk and to encourage parents and caregivers to “Anchor It!” The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of major injuries and death that result from toppling furniture and televisions.
More than two-thirds of those injured in these incidents are children under the age of 5.
Data from the CPSC indicate unsecured, unstable television sets and large pieces of furniture result in a child death every two weeks and a child being sent to the hospital every 24 minutes. These fatalities and injuries are foreseeable and preventable.
When the government safety agency looked into the problem more closely earlier this year, researchers discovered on average, a dresser that falls over does so with 1,000 pounds of force. That’s akin to being caught between two full-speed linemen with the National Football League – times 10. Old-style television sets (referred to as “CRTs”) fall with even more force than flat-screen versions, but that doesn’t mean the flat screen versions are safe.
The educational campaign is going to include a series of public service announcements via radio and broadcast, as well as a number of print and billboard advertisements. Many of the billboards will be plastered onto buses and subways for additional public reach.
Further, a number of organizations, foundations and businesses have signed on as “advocates” to help spread the message. One of the spokespersons for the campaign is an HGTV star. Plus, a series of cards and posters will be distribute throughout schools and daycare centers, in the hopes as many parents and caregivers as possible will see the message.
Among the advise offered by the CPSC to prevent child injury caused by tip-overs:
- Purchase inexpensive anchoring devices in order to prevent televisions and furniture from tipping over.
- Follow manufacturer instructions for properly securing furniture and television sets.
- Don’t leave items like toys or remote controls where children are tempted to try to reach for them.
- Keep heavier items on lower drawers or shelves.
- Make sure there is a sturdy base for televisions, and put them as far back as possible.
- If buying a new television, consider recycling older sets that aren’t currently used. Or, if you plan to use the older sets, make sure those are properly anchored to the wall as well.
Contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
Anchor It!: CPSC Launches Nation’s Largest Campaign to Prevent Furniture and TV Tip-Over Deaths and Injuries, June 4, 2015, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
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