Kids killed by falling TVs have people calling for warning labels

It’s not the TV’s fault for being heavy, it’s the dresser’s fault for tipping. Dresser manufacturers should have to include TV straps. Then those straps could hold other objects, like if someone wanted to display a boulder on their dresser.

The warning labels are not there to protect the consumers, they are their to arm the company lawyers when a consumer does get hurt. Oh, you want to sue us because you placed a lit torch at the base of your dresser and it collapsed as you were trying to escape from the mysterious smoke that was rising up from it? Too bad, we put a warning label on it about that exact circumstance, so we have no liability.

If that were the case here, the companies would be taking their own initiative instead of people tying up Congress by trying to force them into it.

Come to think of it, tying up Congress might be a good thing.

Incorrect. You always need a bigger TV. Definitely a case of too much is never enough.

Is there any possibility that a warning - or the inclusion of anchors, would be treated as an admission of the inherent potential danger of TVs, and be used against the manufacturer/seller in liability lawsuits? And then, is liability enhanced should the anchors fail?
One reason your workplace has procedures and warnings is that they are largely liable for injuries that occur on their premises and to their workers and customers. Not sure that really applies to consumer goods in your own home.
IMO the manufacturers do enough if their documentation contains some language instructing that the TV be placed on a sturdy stand fit for the purpose of holding a TV, and that tipping is a potential danger. And I would be surprised if their documentation does not already contain such language.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Fact of the matter is glass tube televisions have been getting very, very large and more commonplace, are extreeeemly heavy, are very, very front heavy.
The Sony 36" WEGA weighs in at 216 pounds.
While they are extremely heavy to pick up and move, tipping one over onto it’s face can be done with two fingers, even with it sitting flat on the ground.
I don’t know what putting warnings on them will do but I agree with requiring them to have a way to secure the bottom-back of the tv to a stand.

Like you say, some accidents can happen to anyone. It just takes a little bit of inattention to trip and fall on something- stupid but understanable. But being hurt by a heavy object? Stupid, but unexplainable.

Out of curiosity (and boredom at work on a rainy afternoon) I surfed over to the Sony website and pulled up the owner’s manual for the 36" WEGA (same model as in the Dinsdale basement.)

On the page headed “IMPORTANT SAFEGUARDS” I easily found the following:

Do not place the set on an unstable cart, stand, tripod, bracket, table, or shelf.The set may fall, causing serious injury to a child or an adult, and serious damage to the set. Use only a cart or stand recommended by the manufacturer for the specific model of TV. Any mounting of the appliance should follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and should use a mounting accessory recommended by the manufacturer. An appliance and cart combination should be moved with care. Quick stops, excessive force, and uneven surfaces may cause the appliance and cart combination to overturn.

For the illiterate consumer it includes a couple of nifty little cartoons – one of the TV wobbling on a tippy pedestal table, and another with a tipping cart (including the internation circle/slash warning).

I’d say that’s plenty of warning. Unless you’d like it printed in 6" high glow-in-the-dark letters across the screen…

In case you are wondering, they also warn you not to pour liquids down the slots on the back of the TV…

I’m not a lawyer, but I believe the answer is no. I read about this somewhere – maybe here. It’s also not an admission if you fix something after someone’s been injured. Warnings and fixes shouldn’t work against a manufacturer.

That’s what I remember anyway. It makes sense to me.

You make the reasonable point that falling objects are dangerous (though the statistics I’ve seen, such as these, show that drowning is quite a bit more dangerous).

But do you have any reason to believe that adding another warning label or an anchor strap is going to change people’s behavior and actually improve safety? Does anyone actually heed all the warnings already present? Do you unplug your TV before cleaning, dusting, or polishing it? Do you ensure that all TV attachments are manufacturer-approved? Do you always turn the TV off when not in use, and unplug it when it will be unused for long periods of time? Is there sufficient ventilation along the sides and rear? Do you clean the vents regularly? (… ever?) I found all of these warnings in one Sony TV manual (near the front, of course–it’s the part that everyone skips when trying to figure out where to plug in the TiVo), along with, yes, a warning not to put the TV on an unstable platform.

The problem, as I see it, isn’t a lack of warnings; the problem is that there are too many warnings, given for problems of widely-varying severity and likelihood, all listed together in a format which just about ensures that nobody will take any of them seriously. The Sony manual I randomly downloaded had six pages of warnings, together with helpful illustrations showing idiots in various stages of electrocution and other pre-emergency-room activity. A couple of the warnings might actually be useful and important, but not many people are going to spend the time reading through all six pages to try to figure out which are which when they could just plug in their new toy.

So what’s the solution? I dunno. I suspect that liability concerns have unnaturally and unnecessarily expanded the number of warnings listed; it’s far cheaper for a company to print a warning, or even print a dozen variations on the theme of “Don’t be an idiot,” than to defend against a single lawsuit, even against something which might best be termed a “freak accident” rather than a design problem. (One of the articles linked to in the OP points out that about six kids are killed by falling TVs per year, less than 1% of those who drown. There are probably far more cost-effective ways of reducing childhood deaths than strapping down the TV.) But printing all those warnings (and putting them in the manual! Nobody reads the manual!) dilutes the importance of any warnings which may not be Immediately Obvious to the Casual Observer, and so might not only fail to improve safety but even worsen it.

Good question. At fifty cents an item, I’d say it’s a good wager either way. I know I would be quicker to secure bookshelves, TVs and such if the restraining brackets came with the item.

Strap down the child! :slight_smile:

And I agree with everything else you said.

I just can’t believe that I seem to be the only one hearing Jeff Foxworthy on this topic:

Jeff Foxworthy"When I was a kid, we had a nine-hundred-pound television on a TV tray! My dad’s philosophy was, 'Let ‘em pull it over on themselves, they’ll learn!’"[/Jeff Foxworthy]

Seriously, though, I can’t get over a mother actually stating that she was utterly unaware of any dangers. I must just be paranoid, because every time my kids do anything that could remotely (heh) cause injury, I’m all, “Now be careful, don’t climb that, leave that alone, etc.” I can’t understand how someone could have *no idea at all *that a TV is heavy, and if pulled, pushed, or climbed on might tip over!!

This isn’t obvious to me. I’m not convinced that $.50 (plus 15-30 minutes of labor, don’t forget) is a good estimate of the total cost of including the warning and strap: What if strapping down the TV makes people feel safer while causing them to ignore some more important warning? 50 cents per TV works out to, what, $50 million in the US? I bet there are ways to save more than 6 kids per year with $50 million.

Actually, if you think on this a moment, this is the easiest part to understand.

Human Ego. She don’ wanna look stooopid.

It is the default reasoning that lead to the statement that mystifies me …

*"Let’s see now… my child just got squishted. I don’t want anyone to think it happened because I’m not a good parent, so I’ve got to come up with an excuse that absolves me and places the blame somewhere else … Oh yeah, the manufacturer. I blame them!

The fact that it makes me look and sound like an idiot doesn’t matter at all – because …

Then I can also blame the schools for not teaching me …"*

How to think.

Kinda reminds me of the warnings I see on vending machines:

“Tipping or excessive rocking of this machine can result in serious injury or death.”

Uh, D’uh!