You’d think it would be pretty easy to make your home a safe place for kids.
After all, how dangerous can your home really be? Lock up some detergents, store away any sharp-edged cutlery or power tools and the rest should be a breeze, right?
The problem is you’re looking in all the wrong places. While power tools and chemicals are indeed dangerous for children, a new study found something else sitting in your living room is much, much worse.
It’s your television. And no, it’s not that kids are sitting too close to them. It’s that an increasing number of them are being injured and even killed when those flat-panel behemoths topple over and hit their heads.
You might think that’s unlikely to happen. But according to a study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, these injuries are on the rise across Canada, where 95 per cent of homes have a television. We’re not the only ones, either: toppling televisions are ranked third in the top five hidden home hazards, and accounted for 19,200 injuries between 2008 and 2010 in the U.S.
And these aren’t little head boo boos we’re talking about here.
While it’s easy to imagine that a falling television wouldn’t do that much damage, the study notes “A typical 36-inch-wide TV falling just 1 m creates the momentum equivalent to a 1-year-old child weighing 10 kg falling from 10 stories.”
Yeah. We were surprised too. Apparently, toddlers between 1 and 3 years of age are the most vulnerable.
Here’s the good news: the study’s authors write that these injuries can be “easily prevented”. Here’s how:
- Do not allow kids to play around television sets
- Children who are around televisions should be supervised
- Anchor your TV and TV stand, never mount it on a dresser or other furniture
- When purchasing a television, select one with a wide base
- Never put children’s toys or other desirable items on top of a TV
There, now you can go back to worrying about the more important things in life, like what’s on TV.