Toddler Dangers in Home

According to the Chicago Tribune, more children are harmed by television sets falling over than all other furniture related accidents combined. And what’s perhaps the most heartbreaking aspect of the whole situation, is that it doesn’t have to be this way because large, heavy television sets can be strapped into place preventing them from tipping.

The Tribune is highlighting this story because two Chicago area children were crushed to death when large televisions fell on them in just the past two weeks.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is calling for all heavy television sets to come equipped with straps that can be used to secure the set in place. Such straps would have prevented the accidents being reported in the Tribune. The first involved the death of a three year old girl playing with her brother in Chicago, when she apparently bumped into the television stand causing the television to come crashing down on her. The second accident involved the death of a six year old boy in Arlington Heights who had climbed the stand to retrieve something sitting atop the set.

Large television sets can kill children when they fall on them in two ways: the first is from the initial impact, the second is from suffocation as they cannot breathe under the heavy load.

Also according to the Tribune, 160 children were killed between 2000 and 2010 and 13,700 were injured seriously enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room.

Because flat screen television sets appear to weigh less, people seem to think they are less of a hazard to children, unfortunately, this doesn’t pan out as they are both big and heavy enough to kill children was well. Even wall mounted television sets can come loose crashing down on those below.

The solution, is to include straps with the sale of the television. Such straps can affix a television set firmly to the wall, preventing it from tipping or falling. Unfortunately, because there are no consumer protection laws forcing either television makers to include them, or store owners to add them as part of the sale, it doesn’t currently happen and consumer advocates say this likely won’t happen unless consumers start demanding that one or the other be put in place.

Store owners and companies that make television sets on the other hand maintain that the blame for television sets tipping lies with the owners because so many place them on unstable surfaces. While this may be true, it still doesn’t address the fact that adding straps would solve the problem regardless of what sort of stand was used.