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CPSC says Statistics Show Nearly 80% of All Furniture, TV and Appliance Tip-Over Fatalities Involve Children 5 Years Old and Younger

(November 26, 2019) - - Today (November 26, 2019), the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission published the following information:

Washington, D.C. ---- As Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, and shoppers look to use those great deals to purchase new televisions and furniture, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging parents and caregivers to familiarize themselves with how to safely mount or place those new TVs, furniture and appliances in the home.

CPSC’s new report shows that between 2000 and 2018, there were 459 reported tip-over-related deaths involving children 17 years old and younger. Ninety-three percent of those child-specific incidents involved children five years old and younger. In more than half of the 459 child fatalities (55 percent), the child was crushed by the weight of the television, furniture, or appliance. The majority of fatal injuries to children were to the head either alone or in combination with another body part (73 percent).

In addition, children 9 years old and younger sustained the largest proportion of injuries related to instability or tip-over of televisions, furniture, and appliances. An estimated average of 11,000 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year (2016–2018), which is 41 percent of all tip-over injuries.

“Any piece of furniture that could topple over and injure a child if they play near it, bump it, or climb on it, should be anchored to the wall,” said Robert (Bob) Adler, Acting Chairman, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. “In addition, CPSC is working with manufacturers and retailers to ensure that furniture is less likely to tip. In the meantime, CPSC encourages all parents and caregivers to learn about these dangers in the home, and take simple, low-cost steps to prevent these tragedies during the holiday shopping season and all year.”

Typically, tip-over incidents occur when children have climbed onto, fallen against or pulled themselves up on furniture. In some cases, televisions placed on top of furniture will tip over and cause a child to suffer traumatic and sometimes fatal injuries. According to the report, 37 percent of children’s fatalities (171 incidents) involved falling televisions alone, 34 percent involved both televisions and furniture (158 incidents) and 24 percent (112 incidents) involved furniture alone falling, such as a chest, dresser, or a bureau. Often, these pieces of furniture have drawers that children can use to climb.

Many parents and caregivers may not be aware that one of the top hidden hazards in the homes where young children live or visit is unsecured and unstable TVs, furniture and appliances. Parents and caregivers should inspect and secure these items to protect young children from a preventable tragedy.

To prevent a tip-over incident, follow these safety tips in any home where children live or visit:
  • Anchor furniture to the wall – install low-cost anchoring devices that can prevent TVs, dressers, bookcases and other furniture/appliances from tipping.
  • Always place TVs on a sturdy, low base and push the TV as far back as possible, particularly if anchoring is not possible.
  • Avoid displaying or storing items, such as toys and remotes, in places where kids might be tempted to climb up to reach for them.
  • Store heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers.
  • If purchasing a new TV, consider recycling older ones not currently used. If moving the older TV to another room, be sure it is anchored properly to the wall.
  • Keep TV and/or cable cords out of reach of children.
  • Supervise children in rooms where these safety tips have not been followed.

To learn more about Anchor It! and how to prevent TV and furniture tip-over incidents, please visit: www.anchorit.gov