If you have young children, they’re probably fascinated by your television. They may stare at their favorite shows flashing across the big glowing screen. But if they get too close, perhaps grabbing the TV or bumping the stand, is your TV secured against a tip-over? If not, it could topple and injure your child, or worse.

One child dies every two weeks from a TV or other piece of furniture falling on them, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital reports nearly 20 children visit emergency rooms each day with injuries related to TV tip-overs.

The most common scenarios involve toddlers, according to UL, a global independent safety company. Most of the deaths occur in children under 5 who climb on or fall against the TV or pull on a TV that is mounted on unstable furniture.

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A television tipping over from an average size dresser falls with thousands of pounds of force. "The impact of a falling TV is like being caught between two NFL linemen colliding at full-speed — 10 times," the CPSC says.

The safety experts at UL offer these tips for making sure your TV is secured against tipping over:

  • Make sure furniture is stable on its own and after a TV is placed on it.
  • Attach the entertainment center or TV stand to the wall using appropriate hardware, such as brackets, screws or toggles. UL advises using stands recommended by the TV manufacturer or designed to support the size and weight of the TV.
  • "Never place anything such as the TV remote or any food that might attract a child on top of the TV," says John Drengenberg, consumer safety director for UL.
  • Push the TV as far back as possible from the front of its stand. It shouldn’t hang over the edge of the furniture.
  • Never place a TV on a dresser. “Children have been injured by opening the drawers and using them as steps to get at the TV," Drengenberg says.
  • Place electrical cords and cables out of a child’s reach, and tell kids not to play with cords.

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Safe Kids Worldwide, a global organization dedicated to preventing injuries in children, recently published this infographic with more stats and info on TV tip-overs, including how to recycle your old television.

TV tipover infographic(Photo: /Safe Kids Worldwide)

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