To investigate the epidemiology of television (TV)-related injuries to children in the United States.
Using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, children aged <18 years treated in United States hospital emergency departments for an injury associated with a TV from 1990 through 2011 were investigated.
An estimated 380 885 patients aged <18 years were treated in emergency departments for a TV-related injury during the 22-year study period, which equals an annual average of 17 313 children. The median age of patients was 3 years; children <5 years represented 64.3% of patients, and boys comprised 60.8%. The average annual injury rate was 2.43 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.07–2.80) injuries per 10 000 children aged <18 years, with a range of 2.15 (95% CI: 1.64–2.66) to 2.90 (95% CI: 2.31–3.49). Although the overall injury rate was steady, the number and rate of injuries associated with falling TVs increased significantly by 125.5% and 95.3%, respectively, during the study period. In addition, there was a significant 344.1% increase in the number of injuries associated with a TV falling from a dresser/bureau/chest of drawers/armoire during 1995–2011.
The rate of pediatric injuries caused by falling TVs is increasing, which underscores the need for increased prevention efforts. Prevention strategies include public education, provision of TV anchoring devices at the point of sale of TVs, TV anchoring device distribution programs, strengthening of standards for TV stability, and redesign of TVs to improve stability.