A Potential Danger of Televisions You Need to Consider

Family Matters on 03.29.12
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Photo: Katie Morton

This week I wrote a facetious post about how my daughter likes to watch TV by applying her eyeballs to the screen.

Soon after I published it, my sister texted me:

Just read your post. Not to be alarmist, but around here a few weeks ago a 2-year-old pulled a flat screen TV over on herself (because now they are so light) and was killed. So, just make sure the TV is far enough back on the credenza when Alex hangs on it. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer (wah wah.)

P.S.  I am not telling you because I think you wouldn't figure that out (duh), it was just a horrible freak thing that I never would have thought of and now always will.

A quick google search for "falling TV kills" brings up an astounding number of reports on young children who died when televisions came crashing down on them.

Much like the frequently reported hot car deaths, it's easy to think, "It will never happen to me," and it probably won't. But it could. So it helps to be reminded that it has happened to people, and unfortunately, probably will again.

So here is my little public service announcement to keep killer flat screen TVs top of mind so that it sure as heck doesn't happen to you.

It Doesn't Matter if Your Child is a TV Watcher or Not

Of course parents fall on all areas of the spectrum regarding their opinions about screen time: from Monica's musings over whether TV could be responsible for her child's snarky behavior, to Marla's assertion that kids need TV for inspiration and to become part of the culture that will shape them.

One thing we can all agree on is that not examining the setup of your set could have fatal results. It's common sense, and it might be obvious that your child could easily pull a flat screen TV on top of herself. But kids are dying this way, and so I felt obligated to put that reminder out there in case I could save somebody from unfathomable pain.

Mark it in Your Calendar

Take a minute to look at the flat screen TVs in your house. Are they secured to a wall? Are they pushed far enough back on a large, stable surface so that it's impossible for your child to reach? (While you're at it, how about large pieces of furniture your child could climb, like bookshelves?)

While my daughter is too short right now to reach the TV, you know how fast kids grow. So I'm marking it in my calendar to look again in a few months to see if anything needs to be changed about our setup. You might consider doing the same.

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