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TV-Related Child Injuries in Homestead and Other Florida Communities a Concern for Safety Experts

According to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, across the US a child is rushed to hospital every 45 minutes, on average, due to a TV. Dr. Gary Smith, who headed the study, says that younger children are more vulnerable to falling TVs than many people realize – and injuries involving falling TVs can be very serious. The number of such child injuries in Homestead and other US communities may actually be on the rise as the style and number of TVs in homes changes.

Dr. Smith and his research team studied child injuries across the US between 1990 and 2011. They concluded that about 381,000 teenagers and children during that time visited emergency rooms with injuries related to TVs. About 50% of these injuries were related to falling televisions and another 38% of injuries were caused by children and minors running into sets. Another 9% were caused by other incidents, such as injuries caused when a TV was moved. About 64% of the injuries occurred to children under the age of five years old, with two year olds being most affected. Boys were more likely to be injured than girls.

One thing that may surprise parents is the severity of the injuries involved. A falling TV can cause head injuries in Homestead and other communities, as well as fractures, cuts, bruises, soft tissue injuries, and other serious injuries. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found that 215 children were fatally injured by falling television sets from the year 2000 to 2011 alone.

Another cause of concern is that the number of injuries caused by falling TVs seems to be on the increase. Between 1990 and 2011, the number of TV-related child injuries remained static at about 17,000 annually. However, the number of injuries caused by falling televisions doubled in that time period. Dr. Smith believes that part of the problem may be multiple TVs being brought into the home. When a new flat-screen set is purchased, older TVs are often placed in bedrooms as secondary units. In some cases, these are being placed on furniture that was never intended to bear the weight of a TV. When the units are placed on top of bureaus and other furniture, they pose a serious tip-over risk.

Dr. Smith and other safety experts hope that parents get the message. They believe that more education is needed so that parents understand the risks of falling TVs. In the meantime, they recommend the following safety precautions:

•Never place a TV on a piece of furniture that is not designed for a TV and cannot bear its weight
•Secure all TVs and taller furniture to the walls
•Read and follow instructions and owner manuals when setting up a new TV or item of furniture
•Check TV cords regularly for signs of wear – in addition to injuries caused by falling TVs, burn injuries in Homestead and other communities have been linked to television sets

If your child is injured, you may have a products liability claim in Homestead or your community if the instructions with the TV were faulty or if the television was defective in design or manufacture. To find out more, contact the Flaxman Law Group for a free accident consultation to review your specific situation.

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