Got a big flatscreen TV? Do make sure it’s securely fitted to a wall or on a really stable stand – because toppling tellies are causing an increasing number of head and neck injuries in older babies and toddlers.
Children aged 1 to 3 are, according to a new report published in the Journal of Neurosurgery, the age group most likely to get hurt by an unstable or poorly secured television. At least half of the injuries reported were to the head and neck, including bleeding in the ear, nose and throat, skull fractures, and bleeding within the skull. And most of these TV-related toddler injuries happen when children climb onto furniture to reach for a toy (or the remote).
Toddlers are particularly likely to be hurt in this way, say the researchers, if a TV is placed high up – on a chest of drawers, for example – or if the telly is not firmly fastened to the wall.
“In many cases,” says lead researcher Dr Michael Cusimano of St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, “the TV set is situated on top of a dresser or some other piece of furniture that was never designed to hold a TV. Parents have to be aware that TVs can seriously harm children.”
So, how can I make sure my TV is not a danger to my toddler?
1. Don’t put the remote on top of the telly. In fact, don’t put anything on top of the telly, especially not toys. Or your child might be tempted to grab for whatever’s up there and knock the television over in the process.
2. Don’t place your TV close to the edge of the table or unit it’s resting on.
3. Do make sure a wall-mounted TV is really safely secured to the wall.
4. Pick a TV that’s designed with a short, wide stand, so it’s less likely to topple over if knocked or banged into by a toddler.