September 30, 2011
Release #11-345

CPSC Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301)  504-7908

Anchor for Safety: TV and Furniture Tip-Over-Related Deaths  and Injuries Not Slowing Down

A child is killed once every two weeks,  tens of thousands are injured every year

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In March  of this year, an 11 month old died while watching TV with his dad and his  2-year-old sibling. The baby’s brother bumped into the furniture holding the  TV and the TV fell onto the baby’s head and abdomen. Unfortunately, this is  not a rare incident. Furniture and TV tip-over incidents are one of the top  hidden hazards in the home. Today, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety  Commission (CPSC) is urging parents and caregivers to inspect and anchor  furniture and TVs now, in order to protect young children from a preventable  tragedy.

A new data report shows that between  2000 and 2010, CPSC staff received reports of 245 tip-over-related deaths  involving children 8 years old and younger. More than 90 percent of the  incidents involved children 5 years old and younger. In more than half of  the 245 fatalities (56%), the child was crushed by the weight of the  television, furniture, or appliance. The majority of these children suffered  fatal injuries to the head (67%).

In addition, more than 22,000  children 8 years old and younger are treated in hospital emergency rooms  every year (2008-2010) for injuries related to instability or tipover of  televisions, furniture, and appliances. And like the fatalities, a majority  of these injuries (56%) are to the head.

“Children like to climb on  furniture. Placing TVs on furniture not intended for them or having  furniture that is not secured can have tragic consequences,” said Chairman  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.”

The most common tip-over scenarios involve toddlers who  have climbed onto, fallen against or pulled themselves up on furniture.  About 70 percent of children’s fatalities (169 incidents) involved falling  televisions, and 27 percent (65 incidents) involved only furniture falling.  Of the 135 child fatalities where furniture fell by itself or fell with a  TV, the majority of incidents (64%) involved a chest, dresser, or a bureau.  Often, these pieces of furniture have drawers that children can use to  climb.

To prevent tragedies follow these safety tips in any home  where children live or visit:

  • 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.