A falling TV causes an injury to a child once every 30 minutes on average, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics.
In 2011 alone, televisions falling on children caused about 17,000 injuries that were serious enough to result in a hospital visit.
A few cases even resulted in fatalities.
Almost two in three (64 percent) of those injuries occurred in children under the age of 5, reports the Los Angeles Times. Similarly, two in three (60 percent) of cases involved boys.
The most common TV-related injury was to a child's head or neck, accounting for about 63 percent of those seen in emergency rooms. Some 13 percent of smaller children and 7.7 percent of youths 11 to 17 sustained concussions from closed-head injuries. An additional 22 percent of children suffered injuries to their legs.
Most troubling of all, fallings televisions have proved fatal for children as well.
The rising popularity of flat-screen TVs, which are predisposed to tipping forward because they carry their weight toward the screen, may be a key factor in falling TV injuries, the researchers said.
Another contributing factor is from the placement of TVs on dressers, bureaus, armoires and other pieces of furniture.
People also own more televisions than ever before. Pair that with a lack of supervision, and you have a recipe for danger.
Parents are urged by the authors of the falling TV study to reinforce their television sets. Safety anchors or anti-tip devices can hold a TV set more firmly in place.
Parents should also refrain from keeping the remote control or other attractive objects on top of their TVs. It's often when kids are reaching for such an object when they topple the television.
The study's findings could potentially spell products liability for television manufacturers down the road.
Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, say reinforcement devices should come with new TV sets when they're purchased, along with educational materials about preventing tip-over and falling TV accidents. If the government heeds the researchers' recommendations, those may eventually be required.
Until then, keep close supervision of your kids -- they're your responsibility.
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