An overwhelming number of children die every year due to falling televisions and furniture. In the United States alone one child dies every two weeks and over 2,000 are injured every month due to a television or heavy appliance falling onto them.
What can I do to help keep my home safe?
- Ensure wall brackets and straps are used to anchor televisions and heavy furniture to wall studs. Especially when the size or position of the television or appliance presents a hazard.
- Ensure the television is secured as far back as possible on a low and stable surface.
- Ensure the TV stand is stable and not top heavy. Match the stand or cabinet to the size of the television. A television should have a wide, deep and sturdy base suitable for the size and weight of the television.
- Secure television cords behind furniture where children cannot reach them and pull appliances onto themselves.
- Never leave objects on top of an unsecured TV. Placing objects on top of an unsecured TV or any piece of unsecured furniture could entice a young child to take a risk that could end up with tragic consequences.
- Store heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers. Avoid placing remote controls, food and especially toys in places where kids may be tempted to climb up or reach for them.
What do I need to be cautious of?
- Do not use television cabinets with drawers immediately under the television. The likelihood of furniture overturning increases when a loaded drawer is opened.
- Do not place the remote control and other items attractive to children on top of the television where they may try to reach them.
- Never place the television on unsuitable furniture like a chest of drawers, speakers or a trolley.
TV Safety Physics.
A television can weigh anywhere from 10 – 50 kilos. That weight is significantly magnified when the object is falling. The impact of the TV hitting a small child is not just 20 kilos but much more. Factor in the effect sharp edges and broken glass and you have a completely avoidable tragedy.
Maree has over five years of experience in Occupational Health and Safety and in the development of safety standards, training workshops and improvement initiatives. She is passionate about health, safety and education. Maree, a mother of two children, has a Advanced Diploma in OHS and will be graduating soon with a B.Sc. (HSE) from Australia.