Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Big TV Danger

This story makes me sick to my stomach. A little girl was seriously injured after a Flat screen TV fell on top of her. I just had a vivid dream last night that one of my kids got hurt. I woke up crying. Then, I read this! We do not have a fancy, nice flat TV-YET! I am sure it is on my husband's short list. We have one of the older versions of the big screen-you know the one that takes up half the living room and can never be moved because it's so heavy! Today I feel like the fact that it can't fall over is a huge advantage! What kind of TV do you have? Do you think it's a danger to your kids?

FROM MSNBC: Samara Brinkley dozed off just for a moment as she was watching cartoons on TV with her 4-year-old daughter. Then “I heard the boom, and I woke up and I [saw] my child laying on the floor, and I [saw] a pool of blood coming out in the back of her head,” said Brinkley, 26, of Jacksonville, Fla.

Dymounique Wilson, one of Brinkley’s two daughters, died last Wednesday when the family’s 27-inch television fell over on her. Nearly 17,000 children were rushed to emergency rooms in 2007, the last year for which complete figures were available, after heavy or unstable furniture fell over on them, a new study reported this month. The study, published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, found that the such injuries had risen 41 percent since 1990.

The increase correlated with the popularity of ever-bigger flat-panel televisions that Americans have brought into their homes in that time, along with the entertainment centers and narrow, less-stable stands to hold them. Injuries from televisions alone accounted for nearly half of all injuries related to falling furniture during the study period — 47 percent. Three-quarters of the victims of falling furniture are younger than 6 years old, and children that age “simply don’t recognize the danger of climbing on furniture,” said Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

That makes it imperative that parents take steps to secure flat-panel TVs, which have narrow centers of gravity, and other top-heavy pieces, said Yvonne Holguin-Duran, a child safety specialist with University Health System in San Antonio, Texas.
“If we just take one glance around our house, [parents can] see what safety dangers on their level these children can get into,” Holguin-Duran said.

Tougher voluntary rules have little impact like many other childhood bumps and bruises, most of the injuries related to falling furniture were minor. But 3 percent of the 264,200 children whose cases were reviewed from 1990 to 2007 were injured seriously enough to require hospital admission — most of them for head and neck injuries — and about 300 of them died.
The report “demonstrates the inadequacy of current prevention strategies and underscores the need for increased prevention efforts,” Smith said.

The number of accidents has risen even as regulators have paid more attention to the problem since 2004, after ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) published revised voluntary manufacturing standards to reduce the likelihood that big furniture pieces could tip over.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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