It Turns Out Televisions Are Terrifying Child Killers. I’m Dead Serious

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shutterstock_106689065There seems to be one child’s product or another being recalled every few months for the  potential danger it poses to children. Usually, the statistics surrounding recalled products are pretty marginal. Crib bumpers – probably the most demonized recalled product in the past few years - accounted for 27 accidental deaths between the years 1985 and 2005. That’s 27 deaths in 20 years. Ready to have your mind blown? New research points to television as being a huge risk to child safety in the home. Researchers at Safe Kids Worldwide in Washington, D.C., have learned that falling televisions account for one child death every three weeks.

One child death every three weeks.

Safe Kids USA reports a 31% increase in injuries from television tip-overs in the last 10 years. The culprit – heavy flat screen TV’s not properly secured to walls and large, heavy and old CRT televisions falling from dressers. The report states:

Flat screen televisions, which are top-heavy and have narrow bases, can tip over from an entertainment center or table with the pull of an ambitious two-year old exploring his new limits and boundaries. Large, heavy and old cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions placed on dressers or high furniture could also slide off when a child tries to climb the drawers to reach the television or whatever else may be on top. Because of its weight, a 36-inch CRT  television falling three feet creates the same momentum as a 1-year-old child falling 10 stories.

The study analyzes data between 2000 and 2010. In addition to the terrifying statistic of a child dying every three weeks, is an equally terrifying statistic of a child being sent to the ER every 45 minutes. Because of a television. Something that pretty much every person in America owns.

The report ends with a call to action. First and most obvious is to raise awareness that this is even a problem. Once parents are aware of the potential dangers of not properly securing their televisions, Safe Kids hopes to empower parents with the information they need to keep their children safe. Securing TV’s is a fundamental part of child proofing the home, as evidenced by these alarming statistics.

If these numbers keep consistently rising, this should be viewed as a dangerous epidemic. TV’s should be sold with the proper wall mounts included. The only problem is that it is a tough thing to regulate. How can you be sure that parents are even using safety hardware if it is included? I guess that is something that can’t really be adequately policed, but we can start insisting that electronics companies provide literature describing the dangers that exist and the safety hardware to properly secure the TV.

(photo: Nicemonkey/