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Number of Kids Dying Under TVs Increasing as Flat TV Sales Go Up

Illustration for article titled Number of Kids Dying Under TVs Increasing as Flat TV Sales Go Up

Once upon a time—when I was a little kid playing in the small living room where my siblings and I played Lego—we almost died. Our huge ITT color TV tried to kill us with all its wood-paneled power.

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Sergio, my youngest brother, bumped against the piece of furniture that supported the TV. The heavy CRT fell onto us, in slow motion. I tried to hold it, but it was too heavy for a little kid like me. Fortunately for all of us, my uncle Antolín was there: He jumped from the sofa to hold it himself, struggling to put the cathodic beast back on top of the stand. One second later could have resulted in both my brother and I crushed under that monster.

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Many other kids were not that lucky. Three hundred in the United States alone died from 1990 to 2007. According to Gary Smith—director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio, and co-author of a recent study on 100 emergency rooms nationwide, published in the Clinical Pediatrics journal—there were 14,700 furniture-related accidents. Of those, half were due to TVs:

Every day, in this country, about 40 young children are rushed to emergency departments with injuries after a heavy piece of furniture has fallen on them. This is not a small problem; it's a common problem, and it's increasing.

A study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission—spanning from 2000 to 2006—supported his paper: 42,700 injuries and 180 deaths related to appliances and furniture were registered, 87 of those directly related to televisions. Both the Clinical Pediatrics paper and the government study showed dramatic increases over the last few years: 18.8 per 100,000 people in 1990 vs 22.9 per 100,000 people in 2007.

The reason for that increase? Apparently, we have to blame flat TVs. They are not the actual killers, however: The real killers are the CRTs that the flat TVs are replacing. As parents buy new TVs, they move the old CRT giants into kids playrooms. Those are the ones falling, killing or injuring children.

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So, if you have kids or know someone who is doing this, make sure that the TVs are fully secured against kids bumping against them. That, or have an superhero uncle available in the room at all times. [NYT]

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When I was 10-ish I was roughhousing in the living room and fell into our family's 50+ inch Sony rear projection T.V..

I ended up shattering the glass covering the screen into large wedges and some smaller fragments with my right arm which was cut up and bleeding.

And even though I was bleeding (not a lot but very messily), my first thought was how badly my mom would kick my ass when she got home in a few minutes and found out, so I freaked out and thought that maybe if I removed all the glass she wouldn't notice at all.

I started grabbing the pieces of glass that fell onto the carpet with my bare hands and running to the trash can to throw them away. Then I used my bare hands to try and remove the shards of glass still stuck in the frame.

Took me a minute or so but I managed to get all the pieces out and into the trash, however now I just realized that my arms and hands were bleeding a lot cause I basically gave myself a bunch of papercut sized cuts all over my hands and a sliver of glass got lodged under the skin of a palm. And there was blood all over the t.v. and the carpet... Basically I looked like I had been juggling butcher knives all afternoon then got into a fistfight with our blender.

Needless to say, my mom found out and I got into a lot of trouble, probably worse than if I just left the t.v. as it was.