Televisions are not as sturdy as they used to be. Add that to the fact that the number of households with more than one TV has increased dramatically in the last few decades and you have a recipe for disaster that many parents do not think about: Injuries to children caused by falling television sets.
According to a new study, more than 17,000 children are injured every year in the U.S. by falling television sets, and the crush injuries many children sustain can be serious. More than 65 percent of falling television set accidents injure a child's head or neck, and thirteen percent of the injuries to children under 5 years old are concussions.
While the number of children injured by collisions with television sets has gone down, the number of children crushed by falling television sets went up 125 percent between 1990 and 2012. Why the increase?
Researchers point to a number of factors:
- More households have multiple televisions than ever before.
- People are putting televisions in areas that are not well-supervised, such as bedrooms.
- People who purchase new televisions will often transfer their old TVs to furniture that is not meant to support them, such as bookshelves and dressers.
What can you do to keep your kids safe? First, only put your TVs on TV stands. Second, if you have young children, do not put your TVs on anything they can "climb." Finally, consider keeping TVs out of bedrooms and other unsupervised areas.
Can you bring a lawsuit if your child is injured by a falling television? Perhaps. If, for example, the TV was built in a way that caused the hazard -- if it was unsteady -- you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the TV's manufacturer. If your child was injured in someone else's home and their negligence caused your child's injury, you may also have a case for premises liability.
Source: US News, "TVs Toppling Onto Tots At Alarming Rate, Study Finds," Brenda Goodman, July 22, 2013