Making the Case for Wall-Mounted TVs

I’ve been hit in the head a lot.

Between playing multiple sports as a kid and being a generally clumsy human, my head (let’s be honest, my whole body) has been a magnet for bumps and bruises for as long as I can remember. But one particular injury stands out among the rest: The time I pulled a TV onto my head.

I’d finally purchased my first flat-screen TV, which meant it was time to say goodbye to the clunky, boxy, heavy TV/VHS/DVD combo that had gotten me through my 20s. Once I made my peace with losing the last piece of equipment that would let me play my collection of old Disney VHS tapes, I attempted to move the TV off the tall dresser where it was perched. Seemed easy enough at first; I wrapped my arms as far as they would go around the awkwardly-shaped base and pulled.

Before I knew what was happening, the top-heavy TV tipped forward, slamming into the left side of my face. Then I was on the floor, with a fierce pain in my head, unable to get up. After about five minutes, I managed to stand up. I felt nauseated, dizzy and had a pounding headache. I called my doctor.

Diagnosis: mild concussion. I was instructed to take a few days off from work, to rest and recover.

I was 30 when I gave myself a concussion by pulling a TV onto my head. I’d be willing to bet that this doesn’t happen to many adults (unless they are generally clumsy humans, like me).

But did you know that in the past 10 years, a child has visited the emergency room every 45 minutes because of a TV tipping over? And unfortunately, these preventable injuries can sometimes be fatal.

I can laugh about my TV tip-over now, because there was no permanent damage (except maybe to my self-esteem). But I did learn an important lesson, one that is doubly important for households with children.

We’d never bring a baby home from the hospital without a car seat, or let a child ride a bike without a helmet. Protecting children from the potential risk of TV and furniture tip-overs is just one more thing we can do to keep them safe. Here’s how:

  • Assess the stability of the TVs in your home.
  • Mount flat-screen TVs to the wall to prevent them from toppling off stands. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you have a secure fit.
  •  If you have a large, heavy, old-style cathode ray tube (CRT) TV, place it on a low, stable piece of furniture.
  • If you no longer use your CRT TV, consider recycling it. Find out how.
  • Use brackets, braces or wall straps to secure unstable or top-heavy furniture to the wall.