More kids being injured by falling TVs

Last updated 13:10 13/08/2013

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Rising TV violence has paediatricians worried.

A US study has found children are now twice as likely to be squashed by a falling TV than 20 years ago.

Doctors examined hospital records to find 1.66 per 10,000 children were injured by falling TVs in 2011, up from 0.8 in 1990.

The increase could be explained by older TVs being relegated to dressers and other dangerous places when flashier flat-screen models arrived.

"Children may pull dresser drawers open to use as stairs to help them reach the TV, potentially pulling both the dresser and TV over onto themselves," the doctors wrote in the journal Pediatrics.

The number of such injuries increased nearly 3.5-fold between 1995 and 2011, they found.

But newer TVs may also contribute. Being lighter and less bulky, they are far easier for a child to tip over.

Professor Andrew Holland, a paediatric surgeon at Westmead Children's Hospital in Sydney, said there had been a notable spike in TV-related injuries when flat-screens first came on the market.

"Many of these TVs were sold without a stand or base, so were positioned on normal furniture, or may have been inadequately supported on a wall," he told AAP.

But he said he saw fewer such injuries these days, perhaps because TVs have become so big that professional installation is usually required.

Prof Holland, who has published his own research on the hazards of household furniture, said head injuries were the most common and also the most serious.

"Any head injury has the potential to be fatal or result in significant impairment in normal functioning."

Parents should keep TVs away from furniture children can climb and have wall mounts professionally installed, he said.

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- AAP

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