Parents may need to worry more about toddlers tipping over TVs - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Parents may need to worry more about toddlers tipping over TVs

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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The authors of a new report may surprise some parents with their findings, which reveal a potential safety hazard lurking in people's living rooms.

The report, released by Safe Kids Worldwide and SANUS, reveals that every three weeks, a child dies from a television tipping over.

This hazard puts young children at the greatest risk, with 70 percent of injuries from toppling televisions affecting children age 5 and younger.

The report also explains that though these incidents have become more frequent in recent years, they are entirely avoidable.

"From the time we get up to the time we go to bed, it's a constant reminder [about safety]," said Brooke Pruett of Jonesboro, "the dos and don'ts and the outcomes."

Pruett offers her two young children, ages 2 and 5, plenty of advice when it comes to staying safe, including what they should do when they are around a television.

"Even though they are young," Pruett said about her kids, "they know if they go anywhere near it [the television], they always even have the tendency to look back to see if we're watching because they know and understand that there are consequences of that injuring them."

According to the study called "A Report to the Nation on Home Safety: The Dangers of TV Tip-Overs," about 13,000 children are injured each year in the U.S. from unstable televisions tipping over. This represents a 31 percent increase in tip-over-related injuries during the past 10 years.

The study suggests that these incidents often result in tragedy because the TVs are not safely secured to the wall. The increasingly popular flat screen models are usually top-heavy with narrow bases that a curious toddler could easily pull off an entertainment center or table.

"I've got three boys," said Clayton Fletcher of Jonesboro. "They're pulling out dresser drawers and climbing up, tipping things over, that type of stuff. I've seen it all, and it can happen."

To safely solve that problem, Fletcher recommends that his customers at Sound Concepts in Jonesboro and others mount their televisions to the wall.

"We would recommend tethering that either to the piece of furniture or to the wall to insure the most safety for kids, animals," Fletcher said, "protecting your asset."

Pruett says her family has safely installed its TV to prevent any injuries, though repeatedly teaching her kids about safety is just as important.

"We're constantly worrying about what they're doing, so, yes, it's just educating," Pruett said. "It's education to our children and making sure that they understand."

The authors of this study hope those conversations continue, as more parents evaluate their own homes to make sure televisions and other furniture are secured.

They say taking the time to do that will prevent any unnecessary injuries and deaths from occurring in the future.

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