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TV and furniture tips-overs kill dozens of children every year, report shows

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Bethesda, MD — With COVID-19 restrictions keeping families at home – and millions of people preparing to watch Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7 – now is a good time to secure TVs and large furniture to prevent tip-overs, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says.

According to a CPSC report released Jan. 28, TV and furniture tip-over incidents kill approximately 45 children and injure more than 11,000 every year.

Based on data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, the report shows that between 2000 and 2019 an estimated 451 children age 17 and younger were killed as a result of TV and furniture tip-overs. Additionally, from 2017 through 2019, an annual average of 11,100 children were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries stemming from tip-over incidents.

Among the 451 deaths, 79% of the children were younger than 6, and 75% involved a TV. In 2020, researchers from CPSC surveyed more than 700 parents and caregivers of children younger than 6 and found that 32% didn’t anchor furniture or TVs around their home.

 

Tips from CSPC to help prevent tip-overs include:

  • Anchor TVs and furniture, such as bookcases and dressers, securely to the wall.
  • Always place TVs on a sturdy, low base, and push the TV back as far as possible if anchoring isn’t an option.
  • On furniture, store heavier items on lower shelves or in low drawers.
  • Avoid storing items such as toys or remote controls up high where children might be tempted to climb to reach them.
  • Keep TV and cable cords out of the reach of children.
  • If moving an older TV to a new room, make sure that it’s anchored to the wall properly.

“Parents and caregivers don’t suspect that the bookcase or dresser in their child’s room can be hazardous – it’s a truly hidden hazard,” acting CPSC Chair Robert Adler said in a press release. “And these tip-overs happen so fast; it’s literally in the blink of an eye, often with a parent close by. Tip-over injuries and deaths are among the most tragic we see.”

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