Furniture and TV tip-over incidents are most likely to be deadly when a child is involved. A child dies every 10 days from a TV or furniture tip-over. In the U.S. there is an estimated annual average of 15,600 injuries that are associated with tip-overs. Most accidents happen when a child climbs on the furniture in order to reach a higher drawer or an object on top. Children ages 2-5 are at a higher risk for these incidents. These facts and figures illuminate the tragic stories of Camden, Conner, Shane, and Ted who have all fallen victim to furniture tip-overs.
These incidents can be prevented. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has created the Anchor It! campaign to educate parents and caregivers about tip-overs. Anchor It! provides instructional videos on how to secure furniture and TVs to avoid tip-overs. In addition, KID provides some recommendations to prevent tip-overs:
- Buy furniture with a wider base, heavier back panel, and/or interlocking drawers, and that meets the ASTM F2057-14 or 17 standard, which is a voluntary standard regarding furniture stability
- Anchor furniture to the wall
- Do not put TVs on furniture that is not intended for that use, and anchor TVs to anchored furniture or mount on the wall
- Keep TV cables and cords out of reach of children
- Keep objects such as toys and remote controls off furniture to reduce the temptation to climb.
Here at KID, we are working to prevent tip-overs with the CPSC and groups such as PAT (Parents Against Tip-Overs). KID started the Teach Early Safety Testing (TEST) program as a way to incorporate design safety into undergraduate engineering programs. Engineering students at the University of Michigan and Northwestern University have worked on projects to develop safer designs for dressers. KID is also fighting for a more robust standard for furniture at the federal level so no parent or child has to suffer from a furniture tip-over.