Dec 13, 2012 6:54 PM
(NBC NEWS) -Flat screen televisions are hot holiday gift items, but increasingly children are being severely injured or killed when these TVs fall on top of them.
"New televisions tend to be flat screen, tend to have a higher center of gravity, and not really be anchored to anything," explains Dr. Michael Anderson of the UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland.
When they're not anchored televisions can topple onto curious kids who grab them or climb furniture to get to them.
Such injuries are becoming more common, increasing by a third in the past decade, according to the watchdog group "Safe Kids Worldwide."
The found that every 45-minutes in this country, a child is rushed to the hospital after a television falls on them. Most are under age 5.
Dr. Anderson has treated several of these cases.
He says young kids have larger heads relative to their small bodies and are more susceptible to head injuries.
"They also have a very pliable skeletal system, so they can suffer many more internal injuries than an adult would," he notes.
Experts and the TV manufacturer's group say flatscreens should always be mounted to the wall securely. You can also buy inexpensive straps to attach older TVs and dressers to the wall, simple safety methods to keep curious children out of harm's way.
Experts also recommend keeping the tops of dressers and entertainment centers clear of items that might catch the attention of kids.