TV tip-overs still a danger to children, elderly

CPSC urges parents to use anchor kits

As eyes are glued to TV sets for the Big Game this weekend, safety advocates are urging parents to be sure their TVs can’t tip over and injure a child.

Every 53 minutes, a child is rushed to the emergency room after furniture, an appliance or TV topped over on them, according to data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Often, they say, it happens even when parents are in the room.

From 2013 through 2023, 217 people were killed in home tip-overs, the agency found, and nearly half of the time it was a falling TV.

While toddlers are often the victims, the number of elderly people who may trip or fall, causing a tip-over, is growing.

“Little kids, I’ve got a three-year-old grandchild, they like to climb. If they see something high up on a shelf, they’re fearless. They are going to climb and try to get it and that’s when tip-overs occur,” said Pamela Rucker Springs with CPSC.

And, it’s not just the bulky old TV sets that often get relegated to a child’s or guest room. Even sleek, modern screens can prove dangerous.

“Even though they’re light, they can still hit a child’s head with the force of a ten-pound ball,” Springs said.

Ideally, you can mount the TV to the wall. If you can’t, safety advocates urge you to use an anchor kit, readily available for less than $20 at hardware stores or big box stores. The anchor straps are included with new TVs. TVs and furniture like dressers or bookcases should be anchored to the wall.

If you can’t anchor it, you should place the TV on a low, sturdy piece of furniture and avoid putting the remote control or toys next to the TV, tempting children to reach or climb.

About the Author

Marilyn Moritz is an award-winning journalist dedicated to digging up information that can make people’s lives a little bit better. As KSAT’S 12 On Your Side Consumer reporter, she focuses on exposing scams and dangerous products and helping people save money.

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