Parents may need to worry more about toddlers tipping over TVs

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The authors of a new report maysurprise some parents with their findings, which reveal a potential safetyhazard 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, with70 percent of injuries from toppling televisions affecting children age 5 andyounger.

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

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

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

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

According to the study called "A Report to the Nation onHome Safety: The Dangers of TV Tip-Overs," about 13,000 children are injuredeach year in the U.S. from unstable televisions tipping over. This represents a31 percent increase in tip-over-related injuries during the past 10 years.

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

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

To safely solve that problem, Fletcher recommends that hiscustomers at Sound Concepts in Jonesboro and others mount their televisions tothe wall.

"We would recommend tethering that either to the piece offurniture or to the wall to insure the most safety for kids, animals," Fletchersaid, "protecting your asset."

Pruett says her family has safely installed its TV toprevent any injuries, though repeatedly teaching her kids about safety is justas important.

"We're constantly worrying about what they're doing, so,yes, it's just educating," Pruett said. "It's education to our children andmaking 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 furnitureare secured.

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

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