TVs and kids can be a dangerous combo: New research

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAParents have been advised frequently to be cautious about their kids exposure to television television viewing, that is. A new study published in the journal Pediatrics and reviewed by Medpage Today now gives parents of young children another reason to look askance at these ubiquitous electronic monsters.

Researchers led by Dr. Gary Smith of the Ohio State University investigated the occurrence of TV-related physical injuries between 1990 and 2011. They estimated that nearly 381,000 patients under 18 years of age were treated in emergency departments for a TV-related injury during that period. Expressed as an average, that would be over 17,000 such injuries per year.

As one might expect, the most frequent victims were young 64.3 percent were less than 5 years old, and nearly 61 percent were boys.

According to the study results both the number and rate of injuries associated with falling TVs approximately doubled during the study period. Between 1995 and 2011, there was over a three-fold increase in the number of injuries associated with a TV falling from a dresser or similar piece of furniture. Most injuries involved the heads and necks of affected children.

Medpage Today quoted the authors: The frequency of dressers/ bureaus/chests of drawers/armoires being used to support TVs (almost half of the cases in this study) is alarming. 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."

ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava comments This study clearly indicates that people with young children in the home should give some thought to the placement and securing of televisions. These injuries are totally avoidable.