By Colleen Kave, J.D.
TV and furniture tip-overs send thousands to emergency departments each year.
In anticipation of the upcoming Super Bowl LIV broadcast, scheduled to take place on February 2nd, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is advising consumers to ensure a safe viewing environment by following a few key safety tips concerning TVs. Because many Americans plan Super Bowl parties and some even purchase new TVs for optimal viewing, CPSC wants consumers to ensure that their TVs, new and old, are stable, properly mounted, or anchored to the wall to avoid any tip-over accidents (CPSC News Release, 20-053, January 23, 2020).
CPSC’s latest report on TV, furniture, and appliance tip-over accidents shows that thousands of consumers visit emergency departments annually seeking treatment for injuries related to TV and furniture tip-overs. While no age group is immune, children between the ages of six months and 5 and a half years suffer the most tip-over related fatalities. Overall, from 2000 to 2018, 441 children under the age of 18 died from tip-over incidents involving TVs or furniture.
Today’s flat screen TVs are lighter and more balanced than the older, heavier models. Nonetheless, there still are precautions that consumers should take before and after the "Big Game." CPSC’s recommendations include:
- Position TVs on sturdy, low bases and push them as far back on the stand and as close to the wall as possible.
- For optimal safety, anchor screens and furniture to the wall with straps or brackets. Consider having TVs mounted or installed by a professional. Avoid homemade brackets and shelving that may not be appropriate for the subject device.
- Do not place TVs—whether new or not-so-new—on bedroom furniture, dressers, or, particularly, children’s or nursery furniture.
- Never leave or store items, such as toys or remotes, above TVs or on top of furniture where children might be tempted to climb on the furniture or TV in an attempt to reach such items.
- Secure the TV cables and cords and keep them out of a child’s reach.
- When attending an event at someone else’s home during the Super Bowl, especially if children will be playing in another part of the home or away from the adult game-watchers, check that area to make sure that there are no TV and/or furniture tipping hazards that could be especially dangerous to unattended or wandering children.
MainStory: TopStory CPSCNews HouseholdProductsNews
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