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Toppling television injuries in children and adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis
  1. Carlos Nunez1,2,
  2. Guy D Eslick1,2,
  3. Elizabeth J Elliott1,2,3
  1. 1 Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2 The Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3 Kid's Research, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (Westmead), Sydney, NSW, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Carlos Nunez, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2145, Australia; carlos.nunezmiranda{at}


Context Toppling televisions (TVs) are a source of childhood injury but meta-analysis has not assessed the likelihood of TV injuries in children.

Objective To present pooled results for injuries, following a systematic review.

Data sources MEDLINE, Scopus, Google Scholar and EMBASE databases were searched to 5 December 2022.

Study selection Included studies met the following criteria: (1) assessed toppling TV injuries in paediatric populations; (2) reported point estimates as an OR or enabled its calculation and (3) used a comparison group.

Data extraction A standardised form was used to include information on publication year, study design, population type, country, sample size, mean age, risk factors, point estimates or data used to calculate ORs.

Results A total of 12 803 TV injuries were identified (five studies). Head and neck injuries (OR: 2.13, 95% CI: 1.21 to 3.75) and hospital admission (OR: 2.28, 95% CI: 1.80 to 2.90) were more likely in children aged under 6 years than over 6 years. Conversely, torso injuries were less likely in younger children (OR: 0.60, 95% CI: 0.51 to 0.70). Children under 6 were two and a half times more likely to die or be admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) as a result of toppling TVs, although this was not statistically significant. Males did not sustain more TV injuries than females.

Conclusions Children aged under 6 years are more likely to die, sustain head injuries and require hospital treatment from toppling TVs. Strategies for injury prevention must go beyond warning labels to include community education, promotion and use of tip restraint devices, mandatory safety standards and a commitment from manufacturers to improve TV sets stability.

  • Public Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Metanalysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Child
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article. All data are publicly available.

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Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article. All data are publicly available.

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  • Contributors CN performed the literature review, extracted data, verified the underlying data, interpreted the data, drafted the manuscript; and acted as guarantor. GDE designed the study, conducted the analysis, verified the underlying data, interpreted the data and drafted the manuscript. EJE designed the study, interpreted the data and drafted the manuscript. All authors revised the manuscript for intellectual content, agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work, had full access to all the data reported and approved the final manuscript as submitted.

  • Funding The Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit (APSU) is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health; award/grant number ‘not applicable/ NA’. EJE is supported by a Medical Research Futures Fund-National Health Medical Research Council of Australia Next Generation Fellowship (#1135959).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.