The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that there were over 20,000 Americans from 2018 through 2020 seriously injured by a furniture tip-over accident. Although a scary statistic for anyone, even more concerning is the fact that 44% of these victims were children. When we dig into the data further, we find that since 2000 there have been 581 deaths due to tip-over accidents and the vast majority, over 80%, were children.
What type of furniture is most likely to tip over?
The agency notes televisions are the most likely to cause serious injury to children. Pieces of furniture like dressers and appliances also led to these types of accidents.
How can we protect our children?
Anchor kits can provide safety by attaching the furniture, appliance, or television to the wall. This secures the device, so it is unlikely to fall on the child even if the child tries to climb on the furniture.
The agency also recommends that parents and caregivers refrain from putting tempting items, like toys or other things children may want, above or on top of these pieces of furniture. Removing the temptation can reduce the risk the child tries to climb the furniture in the first place.
Federal agencies are also taking action to address this problem. Regulators recently approved new safety standards for dressers and clothing storage units that increase the testing requirements for manufacturers. These tests include testing the safety of units when the drawers are open, when it is located on carpeting, and when climbed on by a child who weighs up to 60 lbs.
In addition to making sure our own homes have products that meet these standards and that we properly anchor our furniture, parents are also wise to have these discussions with caregivers and encourage they also take steps to reduce these dangers in their homes.