Marion Fire Department, Linn County Safe Kids Coalition encourage families to conduct a TV safety check

March 28, 2014 | 11:10 am

While young children are learning to perfect their stride, the Marion Fire Department reminds parents and caretakers to take extra steps to ensure their safety. Protecting kids from the potential risk of tip-overs by making sure furniture and TVs are secured is an important way to help keep them safe.

TV and furniture tip-overs kill or injure thousands of children every year according to a research report entitled, "A Report to The Nation on Home Safety: The Dangers of TV Tip-Overs," recently released by Safe Kids Worldwide and SANUS.

On average, every three weeks a child dies from a TV tipping over. And nearly 13,000 more children are injured each year in the U.S. Top-heavy furniture, TVs and appliances can be unsteady, and if pulled or climbed on, they can tip over and seriously injure young children. Over the last ten years, injuries from TV tip-overs have risen by 31 percent.

Young children are at greatest risk and seven out of ten children injured by TV tip-overs are 5 years old or younger. These tragedies are completely preventable with just a few simple precautions. Much like childproofing with a toddler gate or electrical socket cover, TV mounts and furniture straps are important steps to keep your family safe.

Check TVs:

Assess the stability of the TVs in your home. Remember, a curious, determined child can topple a TV. Children playing with friends or pets could knock a TV over. Other kids might be tempted to climb up to reach items placed on or near a TV, such as remote controls or candy.

Secure TVs:

Mount flat screen TVs to the wall to reduce the risk of TVs toppling off stands. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to ensure you protect your wall and have a secure fit. If you have a large, heavy, old-style cathode ray tube (CRT) TV, place it on a low, stable piece of furniture.

Secure Furniture:

Secure furniture using brackets, braces or wall straps. Install stops on dresser drawers to prevent them from being pulled all the way out. Multiple open drawers can cause the weight to shift, making it easier for a dresser to fall.

Rearrange Household Items:

Keep heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers. Avoid placing remote controls, food, toys or other items in places where kids might be tempted to climb up or reach for them.

The Marion Fire Department and Linn County Safe Kids Coalition want to make sure your home is safe for kids. Avoid tragedy and secure your heavy or unstable furniture. To learn more, visit www.safekids.org.

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