Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Furniture, television tip-over deaths on rise

Posted January 6, 2013

I shared this information on our Facebook page the other day about the need to anchor and stabilize furniture to prevent tip-over accidents. I thought I'd share it here too.

I'd seen an alert from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission last month and forgot about it until a Facebook fan shared a heartbreaking, but important post from a blogger about the death of her three-year-old when a dresser fell on top of her in the middle of the night.

Click here to read the post on the blog Love, Light, Laughter and Chocolate - One Mom's Journey. (Grab some tissues first). The author is sharing her message with the hopes that other parents take the steps necessary to prevent a similar tragedy.

Unfortunately, these incidents are on the rise, according to the federal safety commission. According to a new report issued last month, 349 people were killed between 2000 and 2011 when TVs, furniture or appliances fell on them. Of those 349 people, 84 percent of them were children younger than age 9.

The highest one-year number of fatalities was in 2011 when 41 people were killed. In some cases, the kids are climbing on top of a table or dresser to get a toy or other item when the accident happens.

The commission estimates that more than 43,000 people are hurt each year by tip-over incidents and about 25,000 of those are children under the age of 18. The injuries, including head trauma, can be severe.

One thing to note: Falling TVs seem to be more deadly as they are associated with 62 percent of the reported fatalities.

"Some reports indicate that as families purchase or transition to flat screen televisions, their older and often heavier televisions are moved into bedrooms and other rooms in the house, without the proper stand or anchoring device accompanying them," the commission's press release says. "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."

The safety commission is urging parents of young children to anchor and stabilize their furniture and TVs. Here are some safety measures:

  • Anchor furniture to the wall or the floor.
  • Place TVs on sturdy, low bases, or anchor the furniture and the TV on top the base, and push the TV as far back on the furniture as possible.
  • Keep remote controls, toys, and other items that might attract children off of 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.

Find more information, go to the safety commission's website.


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