Flat-screen TV safety warning as World Cup nears

Take care with toddlers and children, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents urges

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Take care with flat-screen televisions and children in the lead up to and during the football World Cup, urges the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

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Flat-screen TVs aren’t that stable and can be easily pulled over by toddlers and children. Sales of flat-screen TVs have gone up in recent years, and with the World Cup just around the corner, the number being sold could very quickly rise.

“Toddlers are particularly at risk of pulling flat-screen televisions on to themselves. They are unsteady on their feet and are attracted by colourful television images. We know that children have been killed and seriously injured when televisions have fallen on them, and our fear is that such incidents will increase with the growing popularity of flat-screen televisions,” said Errol Taylor, the deputy chief executive of RoSPA.

So what can you do to ensure your toddler is as safe as possible? The RoSPA has the following safety tips and advice:

  • Make sure free-standing, flat-screen televisions are placed on a wide, stable manufacturer’s base (designed to accompany the television), which reduces the risk of the screen toppling forwards
  • Fit anti-tip straps. These are available from leading suppliers of child safety products in the UK, and are an easy, inexpensive and effective way of ensuring that your flat-screen television stays safely upright. Straps are designed to be attached to the rear of flat-screen televisions (and other types of furniture) and then tethered securely to brackets fixed to the wall
  • Make sure that, as much as possible, children are kept out of the way while bulky, heavy objects such as televisions are being moved
  • Your toddler should be discouraged from pulling himself up by holding on to a television set or furniture on which a television sits.
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  • If you’re hanging your flat-screen television on a wall, take care to ensure it’s fitted to a solid wall. Where internal walls are made of plasterboard, fixing brackets should be attached to underlying wooden studs. If in any doubt about this, use the services of a skilled tradesperson. Always check and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for additional information about hanging your television on the wall.

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