A Lesson in TV and Shopping Cart Safety
As parents and guardians, it can be easy to underestimate how many seemingly normal activities can pose a real threat to our children. Last week, two organizations, Safe Kids Worldwide and The Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital, made us aware of two potential issues that often go overlooked in many households and grocery stores: TV tip-overs and shopping cart safety.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, “Every 45 minutes here in the United States, a child is rushed to the emergency room for injuries caused by televisions that are not appropriately secured.” As a result, Safe Kids and the Consumer Electronics Association have partnered to encourage families to make sure all TVs are safely secured and placed properly. “Larger and heavier cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs placed on dressers or high furniture can tip over and cause serious injuries, even death, if children climb onto the furniture,” says the organization. Flat panel TVs can also tip over easily if not secured to the wall or made stable on a media stand or table. The two most important pieces of advice the organization is giving parents and caregivers are to recycle old TVs and properly secure new ones.
For more resources on how to safely recycle your old CRT TV, and how to properly secure your new TV to prevent injury, visit http://www.safekids.org/recycle-old-tvs.
Shopping Cart Safety:
The Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital recently published new research on shopping cart-related injuries to children. Since new safety measures were introduced in 2004 nationwide, “not only have the overall number of child injuries associated with shopping carts not decreased since implementation of the safety standards, but the number of concussions and closed head injuries is actually increasing,” says Gary Smith, M.D., the study's senior author. Improved standards for shopping carts are needed to reduce the dangers to children, including inclusion of a cart stability performance component and an improved safety restraint component.
To help avoid injury to your child, there are some steps you can take when using a shopping cart:
- Whenever possible, choose alternatives to placing your child in a shopping cart.
- Always use the shopping cart safety straps. Be sure your child is snugly secured in the straps and that the child’s legs are placed through the leg openings.
- If parts of the cart restraint system are missing or are not working, choose another cart.
- Use a cart that has a child seat that is low to the ground, if one is available.
- Make sure your child remains seated.
- Stay with the cart and your child at all times.
For more information on the study, go to The Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital’s website.