TV Is Really, Really Bad for Kids

flat screen tvI already knew TV was kind of bad for kids -- but I didn't know it was bad for kids in this way. Apparently a falling TV set sends a kid to the ER every 30 minutes. Falling TVs! The emergency room! Every 30 minutes! It's an epidemic. I can't believe this is the first time I've ever heard of it. But there you are: Falling television sets pose a clear and present danger to our children.

I would think that the popularity of flat-screen TVs would make these injuries a thing of the past. But surprisingly, falling TV injuries increased 125 percent from 1990 to 2011. They're actually more dangerous. Doctors think it's a combination of there being more TVs in most homes and of families placing their sets on the wrong kinds of furniture. Have we just not learned how to safely store flat-screen TVs?


Half of these injuries happen when a set is on an entertainment system and a little less than half occur when the set is on top of a dresser. When people replace their older set with a flat-screen TV, they often end up just using the same furniture to store it. But that flat-screen set is less stable than an old-fashioned set, and that makes it easier for a child to tip it over.

Pediatrician and author of the study Dr. Gary Smith says, "This is a serious problem. A child’s dying once every three weeks from a TV tip-over. The numbers are going up. This is a call to action. These are 100 percent preventable injuries.”

Okay, so then how do you prevent these injuries? By securing your set. You need to either anchor your television directly to a wall, or anchor it to a piece of furniture and anchor that to a wall. Avoid putting anything else on that same shelf that your child might want to climb and grab, like toys or a remote control.

I'm sorry I just gave you a new project for the weekend. But it sounds like this is pretty darn important! Fasten those sets, parents.

Did you know falling TV set injuries were so common?


Image via Claire P./Flickr

Read More >