Far Too Many U.S. Children Still Dying from Furniture Tip-Over Accidents: CPSC

New data from the CPSC shows that the vast majority of tip-over fatalities involving children are caused by televisions.

Federal consumer safety officials indicate that recent efforts to raise awareness about the risks associated with furniture tip-over accidents has decreased the number severe injuries and deaths among children, but warn that the numbers are not going down fast enough, and children are still dying in these preventable incidents.

According to a report released by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) on February 3, nearly 10,000 children under the age of 18 were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for injuries caused by furniture tip-overs between 2018 and 2020. Since the year 2000, the CPSC reports that there were at least 472 furniture tip-over accident deaths involved children 17 years old and younger.

Following efforts to raise awareness about these risks, recall defectively designed furniture and promote the use of anchors, the CPSC indicates there has been a 55% decrease in tip-over injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms across all age ranges between 2011 and 2020. The decrease is largely attributed to less tip-over injuries involving heavy televisions.

However, Even with the decrease in overall injuries, there are still thousands of children annually who suffer from tip-over injuries and fatalities. The report shows that 71% of the tip-over fatalities involving children were caused by a television.

It is estimated that nearly 45 million new televisions were purchased across the U.S., according to the Consumer Technology Association.  This massive amount of new televisions means just as many potential tip-over hazards. According to CPSC, it is a hazard that may be relatively unknown by most, yet fairly simple and inexpensive to remedy.

“We’re pleased to see the decrease in tip-over injuries over time. However, annually, thousands of children are still injured, and far too many die due to this hazard. People either don’t know about the risks, or they think it can’t happen when an adult is nearby,” CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric said in a press release. “Most anti-tip-over kits cost less than $20 and can be installed in fewer than 20 minutes. We urge parents and caregivers to protect their children and families and make the time to secure heavy items in their homes.”

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The continuing injuries and lack of public awareness prompted the CPSC, in collaboration with families who have suffered from tip-over incidents, to launch the Anchor It! campaign in 2015.

Since its inception Anchor It! has worked to lessen the risk of tip-overs by offering life-saving and preventative tips in their how-to guides as well as working to encourage manufacturers to provide safety anchors with their retail products. The organization’s push to lower the injuries and fatalities caused by furniture and appliance tip-over incidents includes a PSA safety video that includes real-life footage of potentially fatal situations involving children and falling furniture.

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