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Falling TVs send a child to the ER every 30 minutes

Falling TVs send a child to the ER every 30 minutes

Enormous flat-screens are in millions of homes, but come with a risk that many parents may not realize: children can be seriously hurt in a TV tip-over.

The number of kids injured by a TV falling on them grew 125 percent between 1990 and 2011, according to a new study of emergency room records that calls for greater prevention efforts. Overall, more than 17,000 children under age 18 were treated each year for various TV-related injuries in ERs across the United States – that’s one child every half hour – during that time period, the study released Monday in the journal Pediatrics found.

Between 2000 and 2011, 215 children died from injuries caused by a falling TV

The increase is from a combination of more TVs in homes and a growing number of injuries from televisions falling from furniture that was not designed to hold them, Smith said. Forty-six percent of the tip-overs involved a TV falling off a dresser or armoire, while 31 percent were due to a TV falling from an entertainment center or TV stand, according to the study.

The rising number of injuries “dispels that myth that as flat-screens came onto the market, we would see a decline in TV tip-overs," Smith said. "We’re seeing the opposite.”

The new research used national data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, tracked from 1990 to 2011.

The lighter, top-heavy design of flat-screens could actually make them easier for a child to pull over, the study found.

The number of kids under age 18 who were injured specifically in a TV tip-over rose to 12,300 in 2011, a 125 percent increase in 22 years. The rate of injury from TV tip-overs increased 95 percent.

Children under the age of 5 were the most at risk -- accounting for 64 percent of the injuries -- because young kids can’t get out of the way as quickly as older children, Smith said. Almost 61 percent of the injured children were boys. Other than falling TVs, children were also hurt by striking or hitting the TV.

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