Study: Falling televisions send a child to ER every 30 minutes

Posted By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   July 23, 2013 at 8:28 AM   |   0 comments

July 23 (UPI) -- Television-related injuries have nearly doubled in the past two decades with an average of more than 17,000 children treated annually -- or one child sent to an emergency room every half hour, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Between 1990 and 2011 an estimated 380,885 patients under the age of 18 were admitted to emergency departments with television-related injuries. The rate of injury increased by 344.1 percent between 1995 and 2011.

The jump is partly attributed to lightweight flatscreen televisions becoming more widespread.

"Lighter weights coupled with a less bulky design may make flat panels more easily tipped than CRTs (cathode ray tube) and may be contributing to the observed increase in the rate of injuries associated with falling TVs," the authors of the study wrote.

Researchers also speculated that as families, who on average own three TVs, upgrade one to a flatscreen, they may move their older televisions to unsuitable locations, such as on top of a bedroom dresser.

Nearly half of the injuries, 46 percent, were from a television falling off a dresser, while 31 percent were from a television falling off an entertainment center or TV stand.

The most common injuries included lacerations, concussions and soft tissue injuries. The head and neck area was most commonly injured at 63.3 percent, while legs followed with 21.5 percent of injuries.

Children under age 5 represented 64.3 percent of total cases. Boys accounted for 60.8 percent.

Researchers advise parents to secure their televisions to ensure kids aren't able to tip them over. Parents are also warned not to place remote controls or toys on top of televisions where a child might climb to reach.

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