Senior author Dr. Gary Smith, president of the Child Injury Prevention Alliance in Columbus, Ohio, said more than 17,000 children are treated in U.S. hospital emergency room for TV-related injuries.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found injuries caused by falling TVs accounted for 12,300 injuries among children age 18 and younger in 2011, a 125 percent increase from the number in 1990.
Almost half -- 46 percent -- occurred from a TV falling off a dresser or armoire, with another 31 percent falling from an entertainment center or TV stand.
Children age 5 and younger represented 64 percent of all injured patients, and boys accounted for 61 percent of cases.
Manufacturers should redesign TVs to improve stability, and parents should be advised not to put remote controls or toys on top of a TV, which can potentially result in a tip-over if a child tries to climb and reach them, the researchers concluded.
The alliance advised parents to:
-- Place the TV on a low, wide base, and push it as far back on its base as possible. Check that the size and weight limit of the stand will hold your TV.
-- Strap all TVs to a stable stand and/or wall. Safety straps are available that do not require drilling holes in furniture and can secure items up to 100 lbs.
-- Place heavy items on lower shelves of bookcases or entertainment centers.
-- Keep cords from TVs and other appliances tucked away so a child does not pull these items down on himself.
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