Furniture tip-over accidents can be deadly

via Furniture tip-over accidents can be deadly | Consumer Watch, clarionledger.com, 12/16/2012

Little kids have always been able to find a way to their favorite item, even if parents go out of their way to put things beyond their reach.

Unfortunately, their climbing abilities can be deadly, as un-anchored furniture can tip over. A report released on Dec. 13 by the Consumer Products Safety Commission analyzes this alarming trend, which seems to be on the increase. The report (http://1.usa.gov/UHI0UL) shows that 349 consumers (84 percent of them children younger than age 9) were killed between 2000 and 2011, when TVs, furniture or appliances toppled over onto them. Last year, 41 fatalities were reported, a significant increase from 31 in 2010 and 27 in 2009.

“We know that low-cost anchoring devices are effective in preventing tip-over incidents,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “I urge parents to anchor their TVs, furniture and appliances and protect their children. It takes just a few minutes to do and it can save lives.”

CPSC estimates that more than 43,000 consumers are injured each year in tip-over incidents. More than 25,000 (59 percent) of those injuries are to children under the age of 18. Falling furniture accounts for more than half (52 percent) of the injury reports. Falling televisions have proven to be more deadly, as they are associated with more than half (62 percent) of reported fatalities. Many of these are older televisions, moved to a bedroom or some other location after being displaced in favor of ever-bigger screens. Many of the reported fatalities occurred in bedrooms, living rooms and family rooms with 40 percent occurring in bedrooms and 19 percent occurring in living rooms or family rooms.

Children involved in these tip-over incidents often sustain severe head and other injuries to the body as a result of being crushed by the product or trapped under its weight. In 57 percent of the reported fatalities and 39 percent of injuries, the victim was struck in the head by the falling item.

If you have a large piece of furniture, consider anchoring it to the wall. Heavy items like those older TV’s should be placed in locations where they are unlikely to be tipped over. It’s a good idea to test any piece of furniture (fully loaded, in the case of bookcases or cabinets), to see if there is a risk. Taking a few minutes to anchor the furniture could save your life, or that of a child.

Some helpful advice and tips for anchoring furniture can be found athttp://bit.ly/T0ia0G.

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