Kids killed by falling TVs have people calling for warning labels

The idjits are winning, cuz they breed more frequently and have larger litters.

There was a wonderful PSA (Public Service Annoucement) in Hong Kong that showed a TV being thrown out of a high-rise, then a voice over that said: “Don’t throw televisions out of windows. It’s dangerous.”

Amazingly there was a genuine need for this information - I once saw a “spring cleaning” being done, which was the guy throwing half a ton of trash out of his 48th-storey apartment down the lightwell.

Seconded! Or, looking at **rigs’ **post, thirded.

25 degree incline? :confused:

No kidding. While they mentioned tests with a level, fully-loaded entertainment center, all the tests they showed had the entertainment centers sitting on inclines. They never clearly explained the reason behind this.

Eh, if my living room floor had a 25 degree incline I think I would fall over myself. My LR floor is fairly flat and without incline. However if I place my 19" TV on an inadequate support device I believe it would fall over if/when I bumped it. That is why I made sure the device doesn’t wobble and I do not allow it to be used as a jungle gym.

And the idjit politicians still try to save them from their own stupidity. You can legislate anti-stupidity, but it won’t work.

I’ve got a feeling that the sort of people who let their kids pull large TVs onto themselves aren’t the label-readin’ sort…

But nobody has suggested that we need to remind people that heavy things are heavy so they know they’re heavy. The suggestion being made, quite specifically, is that consumers be warned about how such objects should be mounted or placed to prevent the likelihood of a tipping accident, which is important, as it happens, because they’re heavy. You’ll notice nobody is saying, for instance, that we need to put “this object is heavy” labels on swimming pools, cars, or houses, because those things do not tip over and would not be made safer by properly bracketing them to a retaining surface.

This is just good safety. Walk through any factory or warehouse and you’ll see this sort of stuff everywhere; my workplace, which is just an office, has rules about how high you’re allowed to stack banker boxes, because… they could tip over and hurt someone. I suppose we could just tell people “You are an idiot if you trip over a computer cord and hurt yourself,” but instead we went to the trouble of tying up computer cords and tucking them away properly so that it would not happen. There’s safety warning signs everywhere. Accidents don’t happen because people are stupid - lots of smart people are killed in accidents - they usually happen because people become inattentive. Visual reminders are a good way to remind people of safety tips and rules.

Venetian blinds now come with a safety label reminding you that the cords should be tied up to prevent strangulation accidents with toddlers. That’s good safety practice. Look at the rules we’ve implemented for discarded refrigerators. Why not have a little label and fifty cents’ worth of brackets with a heavy appliance?

I realize my position isn’t as funny and ironic as bitching and complaining about how stupid people are, or making fun of the McDonald’s coffee lady, or talking about how accidents only happens to stupid children or the kids of bad parents and all that sort of ridiculous nonsense. I fully expect to get more of the usual “well, gosh, maybe we should all wear football helmets all the time” replies and that sort of thing. I’m just less interested in sounding all ironic and superior and more interested in examining the issue from the perspective of good safety practice.

Safety around elevated objects is in fact a significant issue in the workplace and home, one that I’ve only seen seriously addressed in the last ten years or so. Good safety practice is about eliminating the probability of accidents, not just saying “hyuk hyuk hyuk, only dumb people get hurt,” which is nonsense.

Kids are deliberately strangling themselves with things like Venetian blind cords. Kids purposely pulling TVs down on themselves? Not so much.

When my younger brother was less than two, he tried to climb up a bookshelf in our house. I was there and fortunately – although at times I think unfortunately – managed to keep the shelf from coming down completely on him. Books crashed off but he wasn’t seriously hurt.

I wonder if parents are considering kids’ tendencies to climb?

I remember being but a wee beast and climbing on the kitched cabinet, on to the stove to get to the yummy baby aspirin that were in the cabinet above the stove. Hey, it was the closest thing to candy we ever had in the house.

You can barely see my infant car seat for all the warning labels it has, in english and spanish. The one label it doesn’t have is a big one, clearly visible that says “double check the straps.” Which I have failed to do, twice. I now make the habit of before I turn her handle back, to check her straps.

My child is nearing the crawling stage and I have a nightmare of a childproofing to do. Yes, the TV is high on the list. When we built the stand for it, we took into consideration it being pushed backwards, but it not being pulled forward. Now we need to adjust it, and adjust it we shall.

Too many stickers on too many places don’t get read. Just witness all the “pull” signs on doors that people insist on pushing. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of natural selection at work. We can’t regulate stupidity, inattentiveness, zoning out or good old fashioned not paying attention.

Even though children sleeping on their back has dramatically declined the amount of SIDS deaths, many folks still do it.

We had a crack addict give birth to a baby in an alley within 2-3 blocks of a shelter that helps women like her, within 1 block of a day care center, within a mile of a hospital, probably within 1/4 mile of a fire station. She gave birth, got up, watched it cry for about 5 minutes and wandered off. The baby was found 2 days later, badly decomposed.

I’m totally in agreement with RickJay. I know televisions are heavy, but any information that alerts parents of potential safety hazards due to instability can only be a good thing. Providing advice on properly stabilizing as well as product appropriate anchoring will save lives.

I have a 32 inch television. In addition to being extremely heavy, it is oddly shaped and weighted to the front. Could a child manage to move it on her own from a stable position? Definitely not. However, if the television stand was not rock solid and appropriately sized, given the way it is weighted a bump to the back could cause it to fall forward and it could definitely kill someone.

FWIW, the stand we originally had for the set (pre-child) was a proper entertainment unit and yet had casters. It was a corner unit with no sides, and once the baby arrived, we attempted to find a way to anchor the set (after removing the casters) and could not find hardware that would work with our bizarrely proportioned television. We visited the only baby store in our area as well as hardware stores, and nothing was adequate. We ended up buying a new entertainment unit.

This isn’t about letting a television babysit your children. It only takes a second for something tragic to happen, even when children are properly supervised. If something or someone falls or bumps into the television, or there is an earthquake, will being right there stop it from falling over? Will you be able to catch 200 pounds before it falls onto the floor or your child? Shipping anchoring devices with every television is a good idea.

Warning: Pregnant women, the elderly, and children should avoid
prolonged exposure to Happy Fun Ball.

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Discontinue use of Happy Fun Ball if any of the following occurs:

  • Itching

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  • Profuse Sweating


  • Heart palpitations

If Happy Fun Ball begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter
and cover head.

Happy Fun Ball may stick to certain types of skin.

When not in use, Happy Fun Ball should be returned to its special container
and kept under refrigeration.

Failure to do so relieves the makers of Happy Fun Ball, Wacky Products
Incorporated, and its parent company, Global Chemical Unlimited, of
any and all liability.

Ingredients of Happy Fun Ball include an unknown glowing substance which
fell to Earth, presumably from outer space.

Happy Fun Ball has been shipped to our troops in Saudi Arabia and is
also being dropped by our warplanes on Iraq.

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

See, that’s where I disagree.

Sure, include a mounting strap in the box. Note in the installation instructinos that TVs have to be properly balanced on a low and stable surface. But unless you ship an anchoring device that is both failsafe and easy to install anywhere the user might put a TV, it’s not going to prevent accidents — or lawsuits from accidents. I see this daily where I work: no matter how many warnings you give somebody, there are people out there who just can’t accept that anything was ever their fault or their responsibility.

Is it tragic that an unsupervised child can find a million ways to kill himself in the average household, in the span of time it takes to get up and get a magazine? Yeah, it is, but nobody ever said being a parent was easy or guaranteed.

If we start labeling everything that might, possibly harm a child, through use or misuse, we’ll never stop. Those little guys are fragile.

That’s it, folks: the house of the future. Everything is disinfected, dipped in a layer of soft plastic, shaped like a bar of soap, no taller than 6 inches, and strapped to the ground with Tyvek warning labels and rivets so nobody, ever, could possibly be hurt.

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Threads about Britney Spears belong in Cafe Society, not MPSIMS.

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I’m not sure this is an accurate analogy. We use cable ties on computer cords etc in my office too, and it’s all for the good - if someone were to trip over my poorly-arranged workstation then I can hardly just say “you’re stupid”. However, if I do, then I’ve only got myself to blame. Do your banker boxes have labels on them saying “don’t stack higher than this”? Do the computer cables have labels saying “warning: people can trip on these, or strangle themselves”? They might do, I don’t know - and if they don’t, should they? What I mean is, making sure that items are stored safely is a good thing - but labelling everything with the possible ways it can harm you may be over the top.

The company I work for has just started putting up generic “think safe!” signs to remind us. They’ve been up a week, and already they’re just background now - I don’t think we’re any less likely to do something without thinking about it. I wouldn’t be surprised if these labels would just fade into the background too.

I bought a 28" TV last night, and put it on a TV stand which says it is suitable for TVs that size. I didn’t see a label or any kind of warning anywhere in the instructions or the box about where it should be placed (or even that moving 46kg of electronics on your own is a stupid thing to do). This could be because there aren’t any, it could be because they aren’t prominent enough, or it could be just because I didn’t look. I looked at the manual once, to see how best to connect it to the DVD player.

That’s where I think these labels would fall down (pardon the pun) - the kind of people who put 40" TVs on 25 degree inclines covered in oil and ballbearings are not the kind of people who read the safety labels. “What’s this? Warning… yada yada yada… yeah, whatever”. The more things have warning labels on about what really is just common sense, the less attention will be paid to warning signs that really are necessary - so although all the TV manufacturers will be covered legally, children will still die when these accidents recur. And the impact of warning labels on unusual items that common sense can’t help you with will be diminished.

Then put a warning on the stand for the maximum size and weight TV that can be placed on it.

Sorry, we didn’t mean to!

Oh wait… does your kid have a label saying “do not allow to move; may get hurt if alive”? NO! Ok, we’re countersuing.

Okay, the positioning of that ‘or’ is problematic. Just to be clear, can only one of the above manifest at a time, or can they occur in multiples of two, or all at the same time?

Enquiring minds need to know.