Researchers in Halifax, Nova Scotia have uncovered a common hazard that can cause serious injury to toddlers and small children. The culprit? The family television. Dr. Stephanie Dotchin and and Dr. Kevin Gordon of the IWK Health Centre in Halifax launched a study after treating the injuries of a small child in their care. The child had been playing in his home when a television toppled on top of him. The two doctors launched an investigation and their research revealed that many models of television may easily topple.
The doctors’ research suggests that designs of televisions can cause the units to easily topple, causing brain injury and spinal cord injuries to children. In fact, the injured child who inspired the research months of hospitalization and extensive neurosurgery. He suffered brain damage and still has difficulty walking and talking as a result.
Dotchin and Gordon found that between 1990 and 2002, more than 104 reported childhood injuries were reported in their region alone and this has made the doctors concerned that children across the continent are being injured by televisions. Worse, many of the injuries caused by these accidents seem to be to the head and neck. According to the research, boys between the ages of two and four are most likely to be affected.
Gordon and Dotchin found that front-heavy cathode ray tube televisions easily topple, especially when children push or pull on the sets. The two doctors want to warn parents that the home television set may pose a serious risk. They suggest that further research and increased parental supervision are necessary. The doctors’ own research found that up to 90% of the television sets studied were found to be tippable by toddlers under the age of four.
Currently, there are no reports of class action products liability lawsuits against television manufacturers or retailers. There have currently also not been any studies about television sets in Florida. However, the Halifax study has sparked some considerable debate and it is possible that parents and caregivers may become more aware of the dangers of television sets.
Gordon and Dotchin suggest that parents anchor their television sets to a wall or to a console to make them difficult to move. The researchers are also calling for standards to be set for televisions to make them safer. Gordon and Dotchin note that most television sets come with an anchor at the back of the unit but require customers to buy the console to secure the television properly. This additional expense is one that many customers choose not to make.
Florida parents may want to take a good look at their television sets today. Securing all sets and keeping cords well out of the way to prevent curious toddlers from pulling on them may just prevent a serious injury. If your child has been injured by a toppling television, this new study may suggest that faulty design was at least partly responsible. If your child has been injured by a defective product, contact a qualified Florida attorney today to discuss your legal options so that you can secure the best possible care for your child.