It's a home hazard that can be easily fixed, but the latest figures from the Consumer Product Safety Commission show that falling pieces of home furniture and TVs are still injuring and killing children at an alarming rate.
According to the CPSC's Instability of Televisions, Furniture, and Appliances: Estimated Injuries and Reported Fatalities report, released last week, about 245 children died in the last decade from furniture and TV tip-overs during 2000 to 2010. More than 90 percent of those fatalities involved children 5 years old or younger.
According to the latest report, more than 22,000 children (8 years old and younger) are treated every year in emergency rooms for injuries related to unstable furniture, TVs, or appliances. Many injuries and deaths are the caused from children who climb into, fall against, or pull themselvs up on furniture. Any furniture or appliances that are unstable, can easily tip over. A TV sitting atop of unstatbale furniture can fall off and strike or crush a child. The majority of incidents involved a chest, dresser, or bureau -- furniture pieces not specifcially design to hold a TV.
Said CPSC Chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum:
These tragedies can be prevented by taking low-cost steps. Anchor those TVs and dressers, and protect your child or a child visiting your home.
Consumer Reports' safety experts report that such furniture anchors aren't costly, either. In our report, Furniture straps prevent tipping accidents, our testers found at least one safety strap model that costs less than $2.
The CPSC and Consumer Reports safety experts also recommend these safety tips:
- Anchor furniture to the wall or the floor.
- Place TVs on sturdy, low bases.
- Or, anchor the furniture and the TV on top of it, and push the TV as far back on the furniture as possible.
- Keep remote controls, toys, and other items that might attract children off TV stands or furniture.
- Keep TV and/or cable cords out of reach of children.
- Make sure freestanding kitchen ranges and stoves are installed with anti-tip brackets.
- Supervise children in rooms where these safety tips have not been followed.
For more information, also check out the CPSC's video, Furniture Tipover Tragedies on YouTube.
VIDEO: Furniture Tipover Tragedies [CPSC via YouTube]
TV and Furniture Tip-Over-Related Deaths and Injuries Not Slowing Down [CPSC]
Instability of Televisions, Furniture, and Appliances 2011 Report [CPSC]