TV related injuries – TV is (still) bad for kids

TV related injuries? Yes, we’ve long known that watching too much TV isn’t great for our kids, but it turns out that TVs are much more dangerous than that. About 17,300 kids a year are physically injured by Televisions! That’s close to 50 every day. Not only that, but the number of injuries each year is on the increase. And apparently, 85% of parents taking kids to ER following a TV injury didn’t know they were even possible!! Time to change all that…

A recent study in the journal pediatrics, along with several earlier studies, helps us to learn how to keep our kids safer.

What sort of TV related injuries?

Television
Most often, the television tips over and falls on a child – this is the case in over half the injuries being studied. In slightly over 1/3 of cases the patient hits the TV instead. Most common are head & neck injuries – this may be the area that is truly most often injured, or it may be that these kids are more likely to go to hospital.

Children under the age of 5 are most likely to be injured.

Cuts & soft tissue injuries were most common (3 out of every 5 kids), followed by concussion and head injury (1 in 8).

What’s causing TV related injuries

According to the people writing this study, we need to look at how televisions are placed on furniture. Where it was reported at all, TVs were most likely to fall off dresser/chest-of-draws type furniture, followed by TV stands and entertainment centres.

There has been a large increase in the number of TVs falling from dressers, but no real change in the number of TVs falling off TV stands.

2 in 3 TVs involved were less than 26″

Don't sit on your TV

Don’t sit on your TV

What can we do to prevent TV related injuries?

To me, this points to a trend. Small TVs placed on dressers & chest-of-draws in kids bedrooms for them to watch. They can’t reach the TV properly and pull out the draws to climb up. The whole thing falls on them and they get a head injury. They just don’t have the motor skills & safety awareness to avoid accidents the same way their parents do.

So:

  • No TV in their room? Or supervise them?
  • Better furniture for the TV to be placed on
  • Secure (anchor) the TV to the wall behind so it can’t fall over
  • Teach them to ask for help
  • Oh, and for the 1 in 3 TV related injuries caused by hitting the TV, you may have behavioural issues to deal with there – be sure to add any tips in the comment box below!

Related articles – this seems to be a hot topic.

About Tony Howarth

Tony is a First Aid & CPR Instructor Trainer with Sea 2 Sky Safety Training Services and the company founder. Tony started with the British Red Cross in 1994. Has acted as first aid attendant for hundreds of events & treated many hundreds of people as a result. He is experienced in training a wide range of courses. He previously worked as an ambulance attendant with the British Red Cross. He is now in BC as a first aid instructor, and an instructor trainer (one who trains others to become instructors) Finally, Tony works at UBC Hospital as a pharmacist when not busy training safety
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