As you get ready for the big game on Sunday, take some time to walk around your house evaluating your furniture, televisions and appliances for tip-over risks — if a young child pulls or climbs on the object, is it secure or will it fall on top of the child? Every three weeks a child dies when a television tips over onto him or her and every 45 minutes a child is taken to the ER because of a television tip over accident. Scary statistics, but you can prevent these accidents from happening.
If you have any older television sets around the house that you aren’t using, recycle them. Too often, these older sets are put on top of a dresser or table and forgotten. They are a tremendous tip-over risk, and those older sets are very heavy. About 45 percent of tip-over fatalities occur in a bedroom. Many electronics stores will also recycle your old TVs. The Consumer Electronics Association has a quick recycling center finder on their website.
Any object that presents a tip-over risk must be secured. This even includes newer flat screen televisions. While they may seem lightweight and harmless, their lighter weight makes them easier to pull down and they are heavy enough (especially when falling) to cause serious injuries. There are a large variety of anti-tip devices you can purchase to secure your television. Check your TV’s manual or local electronics retailer.
For furniture that may tip, you must also securely anchor it to the wall — ideally into a wall stud. There are a variety of straps and brackets available for exactly this purpose. You’ll be able to find these at most big box retailers, home improvement stores and baby stores. Be sure to read and follow the directions carefully. Also be careful to choose the right device to secure each object.
Remember to look beyond just tall dressers – even shorter night stands and other dressers around the 3 foot range pose a tip over risk as children have been known to open drawers and use them for climbing.
Don’t keep things attractive to children on high shelves or on top of furniture and televisions. Remote controls, candy and toys stored high encourage children to climb furniture to reach the object. If you don’t want your child to have access to these things, securely store them out of sight. If they are things you’d like your child to have, keep them low and within easy reach.
These safety tips aren’t just for homes where small children live. If you have small children visit your home, it’s just as important that you secure these objects to prevent accidents from happening to your little visitors. If you are a parent visiting a home where small children do not live, assess the tip-over risks and keep an eye on your child.
Be safe and win!
Help us spread the word about injury prevention! Between now and midnight February 1, post a picture of your properly secured furniture, appliance or TV on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for a chance to win 1 of 3 family game packs! Twitter or Instagram posts must tag @MottChildren, and Facebook posts must tag the Mott Children’s Hospital Facebook page (@MottChildren). Winners will be announced on February 2.
Take the next steps:
- Find an electronics recycling center near you.
- Learn more about tip over risks from the Consumer Product Safety Commission or Safe Kids USA.
- Learn more about injury prevention and our injury prevention program.
University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital is consistently ranked one of the best hospitals in the country. It was nationally ranked in all ten pediatric specialties in U.S. News Media Group’s “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals,” and among the 10 best children’s hospitals in the nation by Parents Magazine. In December 2011, the hospital opened our new 12-story, state-of-the-art facility offering cutting-edge specialty services for newborns, children and women.