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Two Chicago Children Killed by Falling Televisions

Casey Woodruff

Most parents understand that too much television can be unhealthy for their children. However, many don’t realize that the actual TV itself can pose a huge safety hazard.

As large televisions become more popular, Chicago, Illinois product liability lawyers and consumer safety advocates through the country are seeing shocking increases in the number of children who are killed or injured by falling TVs.

In the last few weeks, two Chicago-area children have been killed after being crushed by television sets that tipped over. Between 2000 and 2010, falling TVs have killed 169 American children. Another 13,700 have been injured severely enough to require emergency room care.

Manufacturers Could Have Prevented These Injuries

Perhaps the saddest thing about these accidents is the fact that they could have been prevented if television manufacturers and retailers had made TV safety straps available to consumers. Consumer advocates argue that selling televisions without safety straps makes them dangerous and defective products.

TV safety straps are a relatively easy and inexpensive way to prevent a television from falling over. Consumers simply affix one end of the strap to their television and then attach the other to a wall or another stable surface.

Unfortunately, most parents don’t even know these straps are available. Manufacturers don’t package safety straps with new televisions, even though doing so would likely only cost them a few extra cents. Compounding the problem, most retailers who sell televisions don’t stock safety straps.

Although they are hard to find in stores, a variety of TV safety straps are available for purchase online.

In addition to using safety straps, there are some easy steps parents can take to protect their children from injury. Experts say the safest route is to wall-mount the television out of a child’s reach. If that’s not practical, parents should choose TV stands that are designed to be compatible with their television – often times, a new TV will also require new furniture.

Dangerous and defective products are all too common in our society. If you or your child has been injured by a consumer product, you may have legal recourse. Contact an experienced Illinois product liability attorney who can help you understand your rights.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “TV Tip-Overs: Advocates Call for the Use of Straps to Prevent Child Deaths and Injuries,” 15 November 2011

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