Injuries from falling TVs on rise in US

Injuries from falling TVs on rise in US

Over 17,000 children are treated in the US each year - or one child every 30 minutes - for injuries mainly caused by a falling television, a study said.

About 52.5 percent of those injuries were caused by a falling TV during the 22-year study period from 1990 to 2011, Xinhua cited the study in the US journal Pediatrics as saying.

The study was based on data from the US National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

It said the number of injuries associated with falling TVs was 12,300 in 2011, compared to 5,455 in 1990, which represents a 125.5 percent increase.

"Many people believed that TV tip-over injuries to children would decrease with the introduction and rise in popularity of flat screen TVs," said Gary Smith, the study's senior author and president of the Child Injury Prevention Alliance.

"However, our research shows that these injuries are on the rise. This serves as a call to action. These are preventable injuries, and we must do more to protect our children," said Smith.

According to the study, "lighter weights coupled with a less bulky design" may make flat panels more easily tipped than cathode ray tube TVs, but additional studies are needed.
The researchers also speculated that changes in the location of TV placement in the home may be responsible for these trends.

They found that the number of injuries associated with TVs falling from a dresser, armoire, bureau, or chest of drawers increased by almost 3.5 times.
"As consumers buy flat screen TVs, older cathode ray tube TVs are often moved to less safe locations in the home, such as onto dressers and other furniture not designed for TVs," said Smith.

"Children can pull dresser drawers open to use as stairs to help them reach the TV, potentially pulling both the dresser and TV over onto themselves," Smith said.
The researchers called for the provision of educational materials and safety anchors or anti-tip devices with every new television at the time of purchase, programmes to distribute TV anchoring devices to families, manufacturers to redesign TVs to improve stability, and increased public education.

The study said the number of US households with multiple TVs has more than doubled since 1990, with more than half of US households owning more than three TVs.
Previous research found that 215 children died of injuries sustained from a falling TV between 2000 and 2011.

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