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JustHere | November 15, 2017

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When things fall

When things fall

What are these falling objects?

They could be falling TV sets or heavy furniture items such as shelves, lamps and boxes, that have caused tip-over injuries to children. These injuries have resulted in some deaths and serious disability while others have required multiple operations and long hospital stays. What is uniformly clear is that all of these injuries could have been prevented.

A 36-inch CRT television falling from a height of three feet on a child creates the same momentum as a 1-year-old child falling 10 storeys.

While the older cathode ray tube TV sets are heavier and pose a greater risk, even the newer flat-screen TV sets are a risk as they are notoriously top heavy, with narrow bases and less than one-fourth are anchored in place. A 36-inch CRT television falling from a height of three feet on a child creates the same momentum as a 1-year-old child falling 10 storeys.

65% of furniture-related injuries occurred in very young children (1-4 years), as these children are more likely to climb furniture as they explore their home environment and test the boundaries of their new-found ability to be mobile. These children are more likely to use a chest of drawers as a staircase to get to the top of a bureau than any other age group. They are also of sufficient weight to cause a TV set or other pieces of furniture to topple over.

 

Preventive measures

  • Secure the heavy furniture or TV sets to the walls wherever possible.
  • Provide consistent adult supervision for children at play in the home. No amount of stern warning can sway a toddler from exploring his/her home environment but a watchful eye can identify when inquisitive behavior becomes too risky.

Courtesy: Trauma section, Department of Surgery, Hamad General Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation

Quick TV Safety Check

Assess the stability of the TVs in your home.

Secure TVs: Mount flat screen TVs to the wall to reduce the risk of TVs toppling off stands.

If you have a large, heavy old-style cathode-ray tube (CRT) TV, place it on a low, stable piece of furniture.

(Photo Courtesy: Safe Kids Worldwide)

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