Objective: To describe recent trends in television tip over-related injuries among children aged 0–9 years, and to compare injury rates with sales of newer digital televisions.
Methods: Digital television sales data were obtained from marketing data provided by the Television Bureau of Advertising. Data regarding television tip over-related injuries among children aged 0–9 years were obtained from the 1998–2007 National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. A Wald χ2 test, estimated from logistic analysis, was used to determine whether the distribution of injury types differed by age group. Pearson’s correlation was used to estimate the association between digital television sales and television tip over-related injuries.
Results: An estimated 42 122 (95% CI 35 199 to 49 122) injuries from television tip-overs were treated in US emergency departments from 1998 to 2007. The injury rate was highest for children aged 1–4 years (18.6/100 000). A majority of injuries (63.9%) involved the head and neck for children under 1 year of age, while a higher proportion of injuries among children aged 1–4 involved the hip and lower extremity (42.9% and 31.0%, respectively), and shoulder and upper extremity (16.8%) for children aged 5–9. A strong, positive correlation was observed between television sales and annual injury rates (r = 0.89, p<0.001).
Conclusion: Estimates of injury rates were similar to previously reported estimates, particularly for the increased proportion of head and neck injuries among very young children. While digital television sales were strongly correlated with increased injury rates, the lack of information regarding the type of television involved prevents inference regarding causation.
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Competing interests: None.