NEW YORK – Your new HDTV could be a huge injury risk when there are young children around. Thousands of youngsters are getting severely injured by falling TVs and most of the accidents can be prevented, a new study states.
Researchers in Toronto recently crunched the numbers and discovered that toddlers between the ages of 1 and 3 years suffer devastating head, neck and spine injuries; some of which can be fatal.
Queens personal injury attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say the accidents are occurring more often and with bigger, heavier HDTV sets entering households, the danger is real.
“It’s not unusual for a child to climb on furniture or entertainment stands to turn on a TV and this can happen at any home in Queens,” personal injury lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Most of these kids are left unsupervised around a big TV that isn’t secure so it’s important for parents to take note of these accidents so we can keep children safe.”
According to the study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery Pediatrics, there were more than 16,000 injuries between 2006 and 2008. In the two years that followed, nearly 20,000 kids were hurt by falling TVs.
Doctors note they found a parallel between the number of injuries and an increase in television sales.
More than 80 percent of these incidents happened at home and three-quarters of the accidents went unnoticed by an adult.
“When we handle cases involving home injuries and defective products, the majority of the injuries affect children,” Cellino said. “More often than not, children were unsupervised when these accidents happened.”
The authors of the Toronto study believe simple supervision can drastically reduce the number of injuries but researchers said there are other preventative measures parents can take to keep their children safe.
“Use proper furniture for the TV. Set it back so it’s not near the edge where its center of gravity will make it unstable. And use lower stands,” the authors suggested.
The problem goes beyond TVs, too. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, a child dies every two weeks from a tip-over incident involving furniture and a child is admitted to the emergency room every 24 minutes because of these accidents.
Queens personal injury attorneys say many of these accidents can be prevented with supervision and wall anchors: straps or brackets that can be easily attached to walls to prevent furniture from tipping.
Keeping safety in mind, researchers and attorneys both hope this new information will save thousands of children from suffering an unnecessary injury.