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NFL Pro Tells TV Tip-Over Tale Ahead of Super Bowl

TV anchor kits cost as little as $5, and can prevent serious injury. (AdobeStock)
TV anchor kits cost as little as $5, and can prevent serious injury. (AdobeStock)
January 30, 2020

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- With millions of Americans expected to tune into the Super Bowl this Sunday, safety experts have important advice for TV owners to help ensure any rumbling and tumbling stays on the field.

If not anchored correctly, a TV can fall with a force of thousands of pounds, possibly injuring or killing a child.

It's a situation that NFL Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins understands after a close call with his three-year-old daughter.

He says it happened while she was watching a show on a TV that was situated on top of a dresser.

"She began to open the drawers so she could climb to get something off the top," Dawkins relates. "We heard this huge thump.

"The dresser had fallen forward on my daughter. But the saving grace for her was the bed was close enough that it caught most of it. She was injured just a little bit. But I was scared. I was frightened."

Dawkins is working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission on its Anchor It! campaign to help prevent tip-over accidents.

He explains TVs should be placed as far back as possible on a sturdy, low base that is close to the wall.

He notes that for optimal safety, the screen should be anchored to the wall with the appropriate straps or brackets, which can be purchased for as little as $5.

Dana Baiocco, a member of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, says two decades ago, roughly 10,000 people each year sought treatment in emergency rooms for injuries related to TV and furniture tip-overs.

"Now, as the TVs get thinner and lighter, we're seeing less," she states. "And I think last year, we saw about 4,300 injuries over all age groups. But that's still too many. And 9 out of 10 of the fatalities are with toddlers."

Baiocco suggests keeping toys, remotes and other items off the top of televisions or furniture where children might be tempted to climb.

She also recommends checking around the house for other possible tip-over hazards.

"It does apply to other things, not just television sets," she points out. "Think about in your kitchen if you have a microwave, for example, on a cart. You want to make sure kids aren't reaching up into that as well."

Baiocco adds that in the four hours it takes to watch the Super Bowl, eight children will be taken to an emergency room for injuries suffered from a fallen TV.

Mary Schuermann Kuhlman, Public News Service - IL