Background: According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 7000 children, many under age five, are treated annually at emergency rooms for injuries associated with unintentional tipping of television (TV) and furniture. However, the professional literature does not reflect much inquiry regarding this source of risk. In Israel, cases of children injured following TV tipover are reported in newspapers but no studies were conducted in Israel on this issue. The aim of this report is to present data regarding frequency and characteristics of children injured following a falling TV in Israel during recent years, in order to provide more specific information for advising policymakers and raising awareness about this growing danger.
Methods: Data were obtained from the Israeli National Trauma Registry, and included injured children (0-17) hospitalized between 1997 and 2003, because of TV-related injury. Demographic information, Injury Severity Score (ISS), injured body region, surgical intervention, admission to the intensive care unit, length of hospital stay, destination at discharge and mortality were analysed.
Results: There were 116 children injured following TV tipover during the years analysed, increasing from nine in 1997 to 27 in 2003. Over half of the children (54.3%) were aged 1-2 years; 57.8% were boys. Three-quarters of the TV-related injuries were head and neck injuries; nearly one-fifth had ISS scores of over 15. The mean was 4.3 (median = 2 days); 15 children (12.9%) required surgery and four children died in the hospital.
Conclusion: The findings reflect the fact that TV tipover is a growing source of danger that can be serious and should be brought to the attention of the public, health professionals and policymakers. Specific, age-related recommendations should be proposed, such as placing TVs on low and stable surface and not placing the remote controls on the top of the set.