Friday, March 2, 2012

Danger: Your Flat Screen Could Kill Your Child

Growing up and through my adult life I had never thought of my household television as a potential life and health threatening device to small children until I watched a news clip.  It was there that I learned that there had been 4 child deaths in Chicago, Illinois over the past year from flat screen televisions falling on the child and 169 child deaths nationwide from falling flat screen televisions.  According to an online article by Children’s Colorado Hospital 264,000 children have been admitted to hospitals as a result of injuries caused by furniture such as televisions tipping over onto them.  There are some wonderful safety devices and tips available that parents and child care givers can use to protect precious young lives.

The first safety device is the ant tip TV strap that secures a flat panel television on a stand from tipping over onto a small toddler or child by anchoring it to the wall.  This device can be purchased at places like Sears, Kohls and These devices sell for around $10.

The second tip is to use furniture anchors that can secure a tall dresser to the wall.  These devices sell for around $7.

The third safety device is the Honeywell 5870 API wireless asset protector which can be tied into an existing Honeywell or Ademco alarm system.  This device has a tip setting as well as an accelerometer that will alarm if the device is tipped over or moves suddenly.  Previously this device was primarily thought of as a theft device due to the fact that the sensor could be continuously on even when the other perimeter features of the alarm system were off, but with the rise in child injuries due to falling furniture this device can be a valuable tool especially if it is tied into a two-way voice alarm system and video monitoring through total connect.  With two-way voice the alarm monitoring facility can hear what is occurring inside the residence in real time and communicate with the parties inside the home.  With the addition off video the monitoring facility as well as the parents can be alerted of all incidents involving their security system by email and text alert and with video if cameras were added.  For additional information on these features, go to  

According to the online article by Children’s Hospital of Colorado, you should seek immediate medical attention if your child has a piece of furniture tip over on them if these conditions apply:
·         The child is an infant
·         The child loses consciousness, even momentary lose of consciousness
·         The child walks funny
·         Has head or neck pain
·         The child won’t stop crying
·         The child is not consolable

If your child is not an infant, has not lost consciousness, and is alert and behaving normally after a fall:
  • Apply an ice pack or instant cold pack to the injured area for 20 minutes. If you use ice, always wrap it in a washcloth or sock; ice applied directly to bare skin can cause frostbite.
  • Observe your child carefully for the next 24 hours. If you notice any signs of an injury, call your doctor immediately.
  • If the incident has occurred close to bedtime or naptime and your child falls asleep soon afterward, check in every few hours to look for twitching limbs or disturbances in color or breathing.
If your child sustains a head injury, watch for signs of a possible concussion, including:

  • "seeing stars" and feeling dazed, dizzy, or lightheaded
  • memory loss, such as trouble remembering what happened right before and after the injury
  • nausea or vomiting
  • headache”
The above list in quotations was taken from the online article by Children’s Hospital Colorado.

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