Big TVs, little kids

Question: Our new flat screen TV is too big for our TV cabinet. With young kids in the house, should I mount it on the wall instead of setting it on our bookshelf?

Answer: Many parents worry about the effects of television, but most are concerned about the programing, not the actual TV. But TV placement is important. In fact, according to the Consumer Protection Safety Commission, one child dies every two weeks when furniture, an appliance or a TV falls on them. Seventy percent of injuries are related to television tip-overs.Kids 1 to 5 are at highest risk, and most accidents happen in bedrooms. Whether you mount your TV on the wall or use the base, follow these tips to prevent injuries.

Anchor away. Use furniture anchors or wall brackets approved by the manufacturer to properly secure the TV. Follow manufacturer recommendations related to wall structure and mounting requirements.

When in doubt, hire out. If installing or securing your television seems too complicated, contact your retailer and ask about installation services.

Consider the climbers. A TV on top of a dresser may not be accessible to kids, but drawers, shelves or other furniture can act as stairs. Rearrange the room, lock drawers and remove shelves to deter climbers.

Find your old set a new place. Older televisions containing cathode ray tubes (CRT) tend to be heavier. Make sure your older television is on a stand appropriate for its weight and positioned so it doesn’t hang over the edge.

Keep track of cords. Electrical cords and cables connected to televisions can make pulling down a TV easy. Keep cords out of a child’s reach and check for ways to secure them to furniture or the wall.

Avoid the law of attraction. Many children are enticed to climb and reach for remote controls or video game controllers. Keep these out of sight and away from the reach of young children.

Supervise for safety. Supervising young kids, especially in unfamiliar environments, is critical to keeping kids safe.

For more tips, visit the Consumer Electronics Association’s website at

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