Injury prevention: Experts caution parents of falling televisions

Posted at 11:02 PM, Feb 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-04 23:11:11-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. --It's the game pro football fans have been waiting for, and now, it's only two days away.

No matter what your plans, they'll likely involve friends, a television and lots of food.

Experts are warning parents to keep a close eye on their kids during the game. FOX 17 looked into the reason why and we have further details on how to keep your family safe.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the leading cause of childhood deaths are caused by things we can often prevent.

The Superbowl is one of the most-watched events on television, making it the perfect time to caution parents of TV safety and the dangers of the appliance falling over on kids.

Although it may seem unlikely, experts warn it happens more than you may think.

"Every three weeks a child dies from a television from tipping over," said Jennifer Hoekstra, the Injury and Prevention Coordinator at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids.

Experts say a child goes to the emergency room every hour thanks to injuries resulting from a falling television set.

"We know that television tip-overs are on the rise, that it's causing injuries to kids," Hoekstra said.

This expert wants you to think of it as a linebacker tackling their opponent.

"If you’re looking at a child under the age of one, the rate that television falls onto them would be as if an NFL linebacker was tackling them," said Hoekstra.

It's something that's landing many kids in the hospital at an increased rate.

"So, if you think of the force and the trauma that could cause to that child’s brain or the scull, it’s a true injury that’s very significant to that little one," Hoekstra said.

It's not so much what's on your television that counts, it's how it's set up.

"One of the biggest things is that we bring in these giant televisions with tiny little bases and we say this is perfect, it fits on my old coffee table. It fits on my dresser, but we’re not strapping it down," Hoekstra said.

Health experts warn if these steps are ignored, it may lead to death.

It's something Keisha Bowles unfortunately experienced in 2012.

"The last thing she said was, 'I love you mama.' I said, 'I love you too, Chance,'" Bowles told Safe Kids Worldwide in 2013.

The little girl passed away at just 2-years-old.

"We never thought a TV would be the reason Chance left us," Bowles said.

It serves as a reminder to secure your television and keep your kids safe.

"Typically, when you’re around the living room as a family, enjoying family-time together, when this happens, that’s going to be a pretty traumatic experience for the family," Hoekstra said. "Injury prevention is number one, you need to adhere your television somehow, some way, to the wall or to the stand it’s on."

For more television safety tips, click here.