The University of Kentucky Public Relations & Strategic Communications Office provides a weekly health column available for use and reprint by news media. This week's column is by Sherri Hannan, Coordinator for Safe Kids Fayette County.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 9, 2022) – Super Bowl Sunday is around the corner, and sports fans everywhere are buying new and bigger TVs in preparation for the most watched sporting event in the US.
But with a big TV comes a big risk to households with small children. They are natural explorers – where we see a dresser, they see stairs. We see a bookcase, they imagine a mountain. They can get themselves into very dangerous situations if they climb or pull on unsecured furniture. TVs on stands, dressers, bookcases and even refrigerators and stoves can tip and cause serious injury or death.
Every two weeks, a child is killed by a falling TV, furniture or appliance, and every hour, three children are seriously injured. About 70% of these incidences are caused by a falling TV and 26% are caused by dressers, bookcases and other furniture.
These tragedies can be prevented by anchoring furniture to the wall with straps, brackets or mounts. These low-cost devices are often included by the manufacturer, but they are also available online and in hardware stores.
If you have small children or have children as visitors in your home, follow these tips to keep TVs and furniture secured:
- Mount TVs to the wall when possible. If not, put your TV only on furniture designed to hold it and use anti-tip straps to keep it secure.
- Attach all furniture and appliances to the wall with straps or brackets, even if it seems unlikely to tip. Even heavy furniture can tip if weight is applied in the right place.
- Take items off the tops of dressers and other furniture so children won’t be tempted to climb.
- Look for reported safety issues regarding furniture and other items in your home at www.SaferProducts.gov and follow instructions for any items that appear on the list.
- Don’t know how to anchor? Visit AnchorIt.gov for instructions on installing brackets and anchors.
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