Government warns about toppling TVs in homes

206 children killed between 2000 and 2011, report states

Published On: Jan 04 2013 11:01:20 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 04 2013 11:50:08 PM EST
ORLANDO, Fla. -

It's the start of a new year, and that means a lot of you are in the market for a new TV, just in time for the Super Bowl.

There's a new warning from the government that could save your son or daughter's life. New numbers show that hundreds of children have died over the last decade because TVs in their home have fallen on them.

It was a close call last February, when a television crashed down on a three-year-old boy's head at his home in Volusia County, fracturing his skull. Thankfully, that child survived. But his story is something that the government says we've seen all too often over the last decade.

Accident after accident, in state after state, of kids climbing onto furniture and TVS, causing them to topple and crush those children.

According to new numbers from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, falling televisions killed 206 kids, under the age of nine, between 2000 and 2011.

And in just the last three years, emergency rooms treated more than 25,000 children, who were injured by toppling TVs, furniture, and other appliances.

"It's frequently a very bad accident because these objects are very heavy," says Dr. Mark Clark, the Medical Director of the Children's Emergency Department at Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando. "The TV lays on top of the toddler, or it can be a serious head injury where it hits them in the head and causes a serious injury."

Clark says it's alarmingly easy for accidents like this to happen, and parents need to pay more attention.

"I just don't want them in our E.R.," says Dr. Clark. "I don't want to tell them that there child has been crushed, and they've had a serious injury. Prevention is always the best."

At the CPSC testing center in Washington, engineers recreate these devastating accidents.

"As people upgrade the televisions in their home, they put the flat screen in the living room and then they put their old big clunky TV in their child's room, and, as the kid climbs up, this makes the dresser just really unstable," says John Massale with the CPSC

So the big question -- how can you protect your child?

The government says that mounting your TV on the wall is the safest choice. But if you can't do that, attach brackets to your furniture so you can bolt it to the wall. Those brackets only cost about $2 each.