Watching the Super Bowl? Beware of tip-over risk

This is a popular time of year when football fans buy a new TV to watch the Super Bowl. The Consumer Product Safety Commission wants to remind you about the dangers associated with these TVs tipping over and injuring someone when placed on top of furniture without being anchored to the wall.

“We’re taking this opportunity to remind everyone to anchor your TV to the wall and your heavy furniture that is around the home. This is a serious hazard particularly for small children in the home,” said Karla Crosswhite with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Crosswhite said a falling TV is like having a 10-pound bowling ball fall on a child’s head. Parents can underestimate their child’s capability of pulling over a piece of furniture. Children tend to treat a dresser or other heavy furniture as if it were a jungle gym.

They can use drawers, much like a ladder, and climb up onto a dresser to reach something, so it’s important to avoid putting anything enticing a child out of their reach on a piece of furniture.

“So no juice boxes, no remotes, not their favorite toy, anything that’s appealing to them,” explained Crosswhite.

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“Other things you can do if you, for some reason, cannot anchor your television, for example, make sure you push it as far back as possible to the wall, make sure there are no cords or cables hanging down where a child can access that and pull it down,” she said.

While far too many children have been hurt or killed by furniture that has tipped over on top of them, there has also been a dramatic increase in the number of older people who have been hurt for the same reason.

“Over the past 10 years, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in older adults, that would be adults over 60,” Crosswhite said. “For example, in 2013, we saw about 1,800 injuries compared to last year, there were over 4,300 injuries to older adults.”

She said these injuries are preventable by anchoring TVs and heavy furniture to a wall. Anchor kits can be purchased at most hardware stores.

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