According to a news report posted on KATV.com, a recent accident report published last February by the Consumer Product Safety Commission states that more nearly 500 children were killed in furniture tip-over accidents over the past 20 years. Now, one mother has made it her life’s mission to educate parents about the dangers of furniture “tip-over” accidents. She is helping to warn parents about this danger by sharing her tragic story that involved her two-year-old daughter. She hopes sharing her tragic story will help save at least one life. The Arkansas mother is now pushing Congress to create a new law that prevents these accidents.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is urging parents and caregivers of small children to protect their kids from potentially deadly furniture tip-over accidents by anchoring their clothes dressers, bookcases, televisions, and other furniture to the wall. Another Consumer Product Safety Commission accident report states that television sets, dressers, bookshelves, appliances, and other furniture, TV, and appliance tip-over accidents show that about 22,000 Americans required emergency medical treatment due to tip-over accidents. The report states that 44% of those injured or killed in tip-over accidents were children under 18 years of age. The CPSC’s report also reported there have been almost 600 tip-over deaths that involved televisions, furniture, or appliances. Of those, 472 or 81% were children under the age of 17.
The CPSC report’s other findings include:
- 71% of all child deaths involved a TV set.
- 62% of all total deaths involved a TV set.
- 55% of deaths involved the victims being crushed, and
- 66% of deaths involved some sort of head injuries.
Seven years ago, the CPSC began a new safety program that attempts to make parents and caregivers aware of these dangers. The public campaign, Anchor It!, educates parents and caregivers about the dangers associated with dresser, television, furniture, and appliance tip-over accidents. The CPSC believes the campaign is working since there has been a 55% decrease in all emergency room visits concerning tip-over injuries. This decline is primarily due to the decrease in television tip-over accidents.
CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric stated in the report that the agency is pleased to witness this decrease in tip-over accidents. However, every year there are thousands of children harmed by this preventable hazard. The CPSC Chair believes that there are a lot of people who are still unaware of the risks, or the problem won’t transpire when there is an adult close by. However, these incidents can be avoided by simply purchasing and setting up anti-tip-over kits. These kits typically cost less than $20. The CPSC is urging all parents and child caregivers to purchase and install these devices.
The CPSC’s Anchor It! campaign also issued a Public Safety Announcement (PSA) video that shows real-life footage of small children and falling furniture accidents that could have been fatal. Media agencies can download the PSA video “Even When You’re Watching” and broadcast it to their audience.
The Consumer Technology Association reported that Americans purchased more than 45 million new TVs in 2021. Tragically, this means there are millions of new tip-over risks in residences throughout the United States. Fortunately, preventative measures are very easy, and the CPSC’s Anchor It! campaign website provides three easy steps to decrease the chance of a tip-over incident.
The CPSC also urges parents and caregivers of small children to take essential steps to protect small children from these dangerous tip-over risks:
- Anchor all dressers, TVs, and furniture to the wall.
- Always put television sets on a sturdy, low base. Then push the television set as far back as possible, and anchor the television set to the wall.
- Avoid showing or storing toys or remote controls where small children might be tempted to climb the furniture to get them.
- Store heavier things in lower drawers or on lower shelves.
- Recycling older television sets that are not being used.
- Keep electrical and cable cords out of reach of small children.
- Maintain adult supervision of small children.
About the CPSC’s Anchor It! Safety Campaign
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission launched its “Anchor It!” safety campaign back in 2015. The campaign collaborates with families who have encountered tip-over accidents and helps other families avoid the hazards of falling televisions and furniture. Anchor It! also works with manufacturers to encourage them to add anchor sets with their products and encourages home improvement stores to carry anchoring kits.
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