A danger to children associated with television that hasn’t previously received much attention is reportedly increasing. The number of children hurt by a television falling on them more than doubled between 1990 and 2011, NBC News reports, citing a new study of emergency room records.
More than 17,000 people under the age of 18 were treated each year for TV-related injuries in ERs, a rate of one child every half-hour, according to the study, which was published in the journal Pediatrics.
From 2000 to 2011, falling TVs caused the deaths of 215 children.
"A child’s dying once every three weeks from a TV tip-over. The numbers are going up. This is a call to action. These are 100% preventable injuries," the study’s senior author, Dr. Gary Smith, a pediatrician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, told NBC News.
One reason for the increase in injuries is that households own more TVs, and a growing number of TVs are falling from furniture that’s not designed to hold the sets. For instance, 46% of tip-overs came from a TV falling from an armoire or dresser.
Additionally, flat-screen TVs, which are top-heavy, can make it easier for children to pull them over, the study found.
Smith added that the study "dispels that myth that as flat-screens came onto the market, we would see a decline in TV tip-overs. We’re seeing the opposite.”