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Falling TVs send a child to the ER every half hour
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New research has found that children across the world are at risk from falling flat screen TVs. - photo by Herb Scribner
Kristen Barbe-Faulkner was getting ready on Easter morning earlier this year when she heard something that sent chills up her spine.

Her flat-screen television had fallen on her 2-year-old son Jayce after the boy tried to climb and grab a DVD from the dresser, Global News reported.

I ran in and I found him on the floor, I called 911, Barbe-Faulkner told Global News. I thought I had lost my babyI just kept telling him to hold on.

Barbe-Faulkner and her son are not alone in this kind of tragedy. A new study from the University of Toronto and St. Michaels Hospital in Canada recently found that the number of children who suffer head injuries from fallen televisions has climbed, according the Daily Mail.

The frequency of these injuries has increased in the last decade, as TV sets have become increasingly large and more affordable in many countries, the study said, according to the Daily Mail.

After reviewing 29 studies, the researchers found that fallen TVs often cause severe head and neck injuries to children who climb dressers or furniture supporting TVs, causing them to topple, the Daily Mail reported.

They (falls) can be fatal, lead author Dr. Michael Cusimano told Global News. And in fact, most of the injuries are to the head. And if you can imagine if the corner of the television goes to the side of the head, that can puncture a thin skull.

The study, published in the Journal of Neurosurgery, found that 84 percent of these injuries happen at home.

In many cases the TV set is situated on top of a dresser or other piece of furniture that was never designed to hold a TV, the study said. Toddlers may try to climb the furniture to reach the TV set or objects on or nearby it. Older children sometimes collide with the TV stand or furniture, causing the TV set to topple.

The study also found that about 75 percent of fallen TV incidents go unnoticed by parents, the Daily Mail reported.

Parents are getting busier and busier and dont have as much time to supervise children, so its not surprising that these injuries are getting reported more often, Cusimano told the Daily Mail.

Falling TVs have been a growing threat to children in the last decade, according to NBC News. A 2009 study found that almost 17,000 children were sent to emergency room visits in 2007 as a result of fallen TVs. Injuries from fallen TVs overall had risen by 41 percent from 1990 to 2007, according to the study, NBC News reported.

That number has gone up as more flat-screen televisions have been brought into homes. A study from 2013 found a 125 percent increase in the amount of children injured from falling TVs between 1990 and 2011, according to The Today Show. The study said a child goes to the emergency room every 30 minutes on average for fallen TV-related injuries.

This is a serious problem, the studys author, Dr. Gary Smith, from Nationwide Childrens Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, told NBC News. A child is dying once every three weeks from a TV tip-over. The numbers are going up. This is a call to action. These are 100 percent preventable injuries.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission released a PSA announcement that called awareness to the issue, which you can watch below. The ad was in conjunction with its Anchor It! campaign, which aims to help parents avoid potential injuries to their children from fallen furniture or televisions.

Experts say parents can make simple changes in their home to prevent these issues, like making sure their new TV is properly installed, according to NBC News. Researchers said several fallen TV injures were caused by TV sets that werent properly secured.

Smith, of the Nationwide Childrens Hospital, told NBC News that parents may also want to place TVs low to the ground to avoid the potential for falling, or they may want to strap the television to other pieces of furniture.

Its also recommended parents buy furniture with wide legs or with solid bases, according to NBC news.

And, as Samara Brinkley, a mother whose child was hurt by a fallen TV, said, the most important thing a parent can do is increase their supervision, NBC News reported.

I want every parent out there (to) please be careful, Brinkley told NBC News. Keep an eye on your child, because you never know what might happen if you turn your back for a quick second.
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