The Growing Dangers of Furniture Tipping
Furniture tipping has become a growing epidemic. On average, 40 children are taken to emergency rooms daily with injuries caused by furniture tipping. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), almost half of these injuries are caused by televisions. If that weren’t bad enough, on average, a child is killed every two weeks in a furniture tipping incident. Televisions aren’t the only culprit in these cases; standing ranges are a major contender, as well as desks, bookcases, and dressers.[i]
Many parents disregard the dangers that heavy furniture and televisions pose to young children. Consider these facts:
- Children 10-years or younger are severely harmed or killed by television tip-over injuries.
- Children ages 10 through 17 are severely injured or killed by tipping desks and bookshelves.
- Each day, children visit emergency rooms with injuries caused by tipping furniture. [ii]
- Every week, a child is killed by a television tipping onto them.[iii]
A number of businesses are recognizing the dangers that furniture tipping poses to children.[iv] Some retailers are recalling products that are known to be a tipping hazard. Vizio has recently recalled 245,000 flat panel televisions after receiving reports of 51 televisions tipping over.[v] For more information on the television models that are being recalled, as well as recall information on other consumer products, we urge you to visit the CPSC website.
Because furniture tipping deaths have become so common, parents across the nation have united to spread awareness of the dangers of furniture tipping. Meghan’s Hope is a site dedicated to preventing child injury and death caused by tipping furniture. Meghan was 3-years-old when a dresser fell on top of her and crushed her. The site contains a list of resources for parents who have lost a child, tips on how to secure furniture, and an advocacy for safety.
The loss of a child is a tragedy, and something no parent should have to experience. Furniture related deaths are preventable. Keep your child safe by:
- Securing cabinet doors and drawers with child-proof bumpers that prevent children from opening them.
- Secure heavy furniture, including bookshelves and televisions, to walls with L-brackets to prevent them from tipping. These anchoring devices are inexpensive, and could mean the difference between life and death for your child.
- Store televisions on a low stand with a wide base, and ensure the television does not exceed the weight limit of the stand. If necessary, mount the television to the wall.
- Avoid top shelf teasing – don’t punish your child by taking away a toy and storing it on a high shelf. In this way, you are challenging the child to try to find a way to access their toy, which can bring them to climb up furniture and risk severe injury or even death.
- Ensure that electronic cords are tucked away so that children cannot trip or pull on them and cause the electronic to fall.
These types of injuries and deaths can occur outside of the home as well. Displays in stores and even vending machines can cause serious harm to a child. In a retail setting, product displays can topple over if not installed properly. Toddlers can be harmed by coming into contact with protruding elements of displays, such as hooks or shelving units.[vi] It is the responsibility of the retailer to ensure that their store’s displays are safe. To further protect a child during a shopping trip, discourage children from touching displays or wandering out of sight.
At Naftulin & Shick, we understand the impact injury to a child can have on your life and your family. Often there are financial and emotional implications caused by the injury or death. Our personal injury lawyers are experienced in dealing with these types of cases. We will work diligently so that you receive the relief you need as quickly as possible. Contact us today or call 215-348-5455.