CONSUMER REPORTS – You might not realize your TV and the furniture it rests on can be a serious hazard. They can tip over and injure or even kill a child. The government reports 267 children have died from TVs tipping over since 2000 and estimates 11,000 suffered injuries. About half were under three years old.
Sylvia Santiago lost her daughter, Janiya, one early morning when the toddler crawled out of bed and went into the next room.
“The next thing I know I heard the TV coming down. So I immediately picked this huge TV up and just threw it,” said Santiago.
It was too late. Janiya died in the hospital a week later.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has warned about putting a TV on a dresser or other furniture that a child can tip over. Toddler have been known to pull out dresser drawers and use them to climb.
“It’s not just the older tube TVs that can fall over. The newer larger flat panel TVs can also be a danger,” said Jim Willcox with Consumer Reports/
Flatscreens are lighter than older tube TVs but as they get larger and larger the weight increases. Their pedestals or “feet” may not fit the old TV stands.
Fortunately, it is relatively easy to secure TVs so that children can’t topple them.
A 50-inch flat screen can simply be strapped onto the media console since the consoles are often too heavy for a child to pull over.
“Make sure that the stand or furniture is sturdy and appropriate for the size and weight of the TV and place the set as far back as you can on the stand,” said Willcox. “If you’re putting a new TV on an old TV stand make sure that the legs or pedestals don’t extend over the edges like this one does.”
Finally, anchor the TV to the furniture. If the furniture could tip over, attach it to the wall.
Sylvia Santiago said she hopes other families never go through what her family has.
“I now have an almost two year old son who will never know who his sister is. Strap your televisions down,” she said. “Strap your furniture down.”