Found in various rooms of the home, large furniture such as TVs, chests, armoires, and appliances are staples in our homes. But these items can tip over and crush children, causing injury or death. Last year, CPSC identified this issue as one of the “top five hidden home hazards.” A new data report (pdf) from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff shows at least 180 tip-over related deaths between 2000 and 2006, 80 percent involving children younger than 10. The report also indicates that between 2005 and 2006 there were at least 40 reports of television or television and furniture related tip-over deaths.
These deaths and injuries frequently occur when children climb onto, fall against or pull themselves up on television stands, shelves, bookcases, dressers, desks, chests and stove oven doors. Televisions placed on top of furniture can tip over and cause a child to suffer traumatic and sometimes fatal injuries.
“Tip-over related deaths continue to be a problem. These tragedies can be prevented by taking precautions,” said Acting Chairman Nancy Nord.
To help prevent tip-over hazards, CPSC recommends the following safety tips below:
- Verify that furniture is stable on its own. For added security, anchor all entertainment units, TV stands, bookcases, shelving and bureaus to the wall or floor using appropriate hardware, such as brackets, screws, or toggles.
- Place televisions on sturdy furniture appropriate for the size of the TV or on a low-rise base.
- Push the TV as far back as possible from the front of its stand.
- Place electrical cords out of a child's reach, and teach children not to play with the cords.
- Remove items from the top of the TV and furniture that might tempt kids to climb, such as toys and remote controls.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.