With our lives becoming increasingly plugged into technology, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) has some startling news for parents; television tipping accidents are killing a surprising number of our nation’s children.
CBS news reported on the CPSC’s recently released findings that illustrated just how deadly tipping televisions have become in recent years. The report states that an estimated 43,000 people are injured in a television or other furniture tipping accident each year, and that nearly 59 percent of the injured are children. The report shows that 349 people have been killed between 2000 and 2011 by a falling television, appliance, or other piece of furniture. Of those 349 people, 84 percent of those were children under age 9. Additionally, televisions proved to be the most deadly appliance, responsible for 62 percent of these fatalities. Additionally, these numbers are on the rise. In 2011 there were a record 41 tip-over fatalities.
Some of the more alarming statistics that the CPSC highlighted showed that three children are injured by tipping furniture every hour, or 71 children a day, and that one child is killed every two weeks. Of those injuries, seventy percent are caused by televisions. Tip overs most frequently occur when children climb on the appliance, followed by kicking or hitting it, or playing close to it. The CPSC warns that more fatalities will likely occur in the future as people move their older, heavier television models to unsecured parts of the home to make room for flat screen models. The CPSC has data that shows that when people move these older televisions, they often fail to secure them properly; placing them on an old tabletop or an insufficient stand. The CPSC chairman Inez Tenenbaum stated, “I urge parents to anchor their TVs, furniture and appliances and protect their children. It takes just a few minutes to do and it can save lives.”
Young children are often the most susceptible to falling televisions because they cannot protect themselves when they fall over. Children are more likely to grab and pull at televisions while especially young. Some of the injuries to children include traumatic brain injuries, neck injuries, abdominal trauma such as to the liver or spleen, fractures, bruises and cuts.
The CPSC recommends anchoring televisions to a wall properly, or placing it on a low sturdy base. Additionally, they recommend keeping, remotes, toys and other items that attract children off of television stands and furniture and ensuring that all cords and cables are out of reach. Finally, anti-tip brackets should be installed on televisions and freestanding kitchen ranges, ovens, and other appliances.
We understand that injuries and fatalities to children are both devastating and life altering, but often preventable. Parents should take these minor precautions to ensure that their children remain safe. However, we understand that children cannot be kept at home at all times. Parents should speak with their friends and their children’s caregivers to ensure that they too are taking to proper precautions to prevent tipping accidents. It only takes the negligence of one person to cause a devastating injury. If you or a loved one has been injured by a tipping television or other appliance because due to someone else’s negligence, please contact a personal injury attorney at our office for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights.