Most Tip-Over Fatalities Involve Children Under 5
January 5, 2020
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) most recent “Anchor It!” data, the majority of fatal furniture tip over injuries involve children 5-years-old and younger. Chances are, your family may have purchased some Black Friday deals – like televisions, furniture, and other at-home appliances. When installing those appliances around the house, it is critical to know how to safely anchor the items in order to avoid injurious and deadly tip over accidents involving children.
CPSC Data on Injuries and Deaths Associated with Tip Over Incidents
More than 5,000 children are treated in hospital emergency departments for tip over-related injuries every year. An in-depth CPSC report showed that out of 459 reported tip over deaths, 93% involved children 5-years-old and younger. In more than half of the incidents, children were crushed to death by the weight of an appliance like a television or some other kind of furniture. In 73% of fatal cases, children sustained injuries to their head alone or in combination with another body part. The agency also found that children 9-years-old and younger face the highest risks for tip over-related injuries.
One child is injured in a tip-over related incident approximately every 43 minutes in the United States. Officials have long urged parents and caretakers to anchor furniture and appliances that are prone to toppling over. Although the CPSC has been working hard to create stricter regulations for furniture and other product manufacturers, trying to ensure fewer tip-over injuries and deaths, firmly anchoring items is a strong line of defense for concerned consumers. Tip-over incidents are most likely to happen when children or teens:
- Climb onto furniture,
- Bump into or play near furniture or other unsecured appliances,
- Fall against unsecured items, and/or:
- Pull themselves up on unstable furniture, televisions, or appliances
CPSC data shows that:
- Nearly 40% of tip-over incidents involve televisions alone,
- 24% involve furniture (e.g. dressers, chests, or bureaus) falling by itself, and:
- Almost 35% of tip-over incidents involve a television along with another piece of furniture
Safely Anchoring Furniture and Other Appliances
Because of new manufacturer product requirements, some appliances now come with their own at-home anchoring kits. If yours does, make sure to follow all directions and use the manufacturer’s provided installation materials. If furniture does not come with an anchoring kit, simply purchase one at a low cost in order to prevent a tragic or deadly incident from happening.
Anchor all furniture and appliances such as TVs, bookcases, dressers, and bureaus. When anchoring items, be sure to:
- Place TVs on low and sturdy bases. Push television as far back as possible (especially if they are impossible to anchor), making it more difficult for children to grab hold of one,
- Try to avoid displaying kid-friendly (e.g. toys) items on top of furniture, which can tempt children to climb up to reach them,
- Store heavy items on lower shelves or inside lower drawers,
- Keep all television and cable cords out of the reach of children, and:
- If purchasing a new television, do not forget to anchor any old or unused ones on display in other living areas. Consider recycling any unused televisions you have in your home.
To learn more about anchoring furniture, televisions, and other appliances, please visit: https://www.anchorit.gov/. If you have questions about injuries your child sustained in a tip-over incident, please contact a representative at our firm who can help.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Representing Injured Individuals Since 1947
If your child was injured in a tip over incident, contact our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.