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Beware! Toppled TV can severely harm your toddler

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Toronto: Go check if your televisions set is fixed or placed properly as a toppled TV may cause injury to your toddler playing underneath or close to it. According to researchers, TV sets falling onto young children are causing an increasing number of severe neck and head injuries.

The rate of these injuries has increased in the last decade and is expected to continue rising as TVs are becoming increasingly large and affordable, said the team that looked at 29 studies from seven countries analysing TV-related head and neck injuries.

As TVs become heavier, they are more likely to cause fractures and intracranial (skull) hemorrhages which can be fatal.

“Parents have to be aware that TVs can seriously harm children. But these injuries are highly predictable and preventable,” said Dr Michael Cusimano, neurosurgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and lead author of the paper.

Children between one and three years old are most susceptible to these injuries and more likely to suffer severe injuries than older children.

Many of these injuries occur when toddlers climb onto furniture to retrieve toys or bump into unstable TV bases, causing TVs to topple onto their heads.

Because toddlers are usually shorter than most TV stands, their head is most often the first point of contact when a TV falls.

The researchers found that 84 percent of reported injuries occurred at home, with three-fourths of these injuries not witnessed by adult caregivers.

“TVs are often placed on unstable bases, placed on high furniture like dressers, which are not designed for TVs, or not properly secured to the wall,” Dr Cusimano added.

The study also found that children between two and five years old have significant exposure to TVs – spending more than 32 hours per week in front of TVs – making them susceptible to these sorts of injuries.

“Avoiding placing toys or remotes on top of TVs and place TVs away from the edge of a stand. Manufacturers must produce shorter, more stable TV stands,” the authors noted.

The paper was published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.