The heavy television in your home may not seem like something that your child could knock over. However, many children are injured and even killed by TVs that have tipped over.

Front-heavy televisions can topple on a child who is trying to reach for a toy or remote control that is sitting on top of the TV.

In fact, 169 children died between 2000 and 2010 due to televisions tipping over, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Deaths usually are caused when a television crushes or suffocates a child.

In addition, an estimated 13,700 children were treated in emergency departments between 2008 and 2010 because they were struck by a television, according to the CPSC. Those younger than 5 years old were injured most frequently, and the most common injuries were to the head. The number of injuries reported rose each year.

To protect your child from such injuries, follow these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Place your television on a low stand or base and push the television as far back on the furniture as possible.

  • Make sure the stand is sturdy and can handle the weight of your TV.

  • Do not place your television on a piece of furniture that is not designed for this use, such as a cabinet or table.

  • Secure your TV and its stand to a wall stud with anchoring devices, such as safety straps, earthquake cables, L-brackets or braces. These devices can be purchased from retailers.

  • Check packaging to make sure the anchoring device can support the weight of your TV and is designed for the kind of TV you own. For example, an anchoring device marked for flat screen TVs should not be used for older, boxier televisions.

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to anchor the television.

  • Do not place remote controls, toys or other items that might attract your child on top of the stand or television.

  • Keep TV and cable cords out of your child’s reach, as tugging on these can cause a television to tip over.

Preventing TV tipovers
Preventing TV tipovers
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© 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics. This Parent Plus may be freely copied and distributed with proper attribution.