In December of 2012, a 13-month-old girl in Jersey City died after a TV fell on her.
To help prevent such accidents, Safe Kids New Jersey is launching National TV Safety Day on February 1, 2014, the day before Super Bowl XLVIII. As families prepare for the event that perennially has year’s highest TV ratings, National TV Safety Day is intended to raise awareness about TV tip-overs and educate parents and caregivers on the simple things they can do to make their homes safer.
“This is a time of year when many people are racing to buy and install large screen TVs so they can watch the big game, and we don’t want any parent to have to endure the loss of a child due to a TV tip-over,” said Marissa Fisher, Injury Prevention Manager for the Trauma Division at Jersey City Medical Center and Safe Kids Hudson County coordinator. “National TV Safety Day is a time for families to conduct a quick TV safety check and learn what to do with older TVs that can be dangerous to young kids.”
Many TV tip-overs are a result of televisions not being properly secured or placed in an unsafe location, said Fisher. From 2008-2012, 12 children in New Jersey under the age of five were killed and 33 children were hospitalized due to TV/furniture tip overs. Nearly 2,000 American children under age five visit the ER each year during this period due to tip-overs.
Safe Kids encourages families to include TV safety as part of their childproofing plans by following these simple tips:
• Assess the stability of the TVs in your home.
• Mount flat-screen TVs to the wall to prevent them from toppling off stands. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you have a secure fit.
• If you have a large, heavy, old-style cathode ray tube (CRT) TV, place it on a low, stable piece of furniture.
• If you no longer use your CRT TV, consider recycling it. To find a location to safely and easily recycle unwanted TVs, go to www.GreenerGadgets.org.
• Use brackets, braces or wall straps to secure unstable or top-heavy furniture to the wall.
“You wouldn’t bring a baby home from the hospital without a car seat or have your child ride a bike without a helmet,” said Fisher. “Protecting your children from the potential risk of TV and furniture tip-overs is another important part of keeping them safe.”