On average, one child dies every two weeks due to tipovers
WASHINGTON, DC - Many parents and caregivers may not be aware that one of the top hidden hazards in the homes where young children live or visit is unsecured and unstable TVs, furniture and appliances. Today, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging families to take a moment to inspect and secure these items to prevent any more tragedies.
Between 2000 and 2008, CPSC staff received reports of nearly 200 tipover related deaths involving children eight years old and younger. Nearly all of these fatalities (93%) involved children five years old and younger.
More than 16,000 children five years old and younger were treated in emergency rooms because of injuries associated with TVs, furniture, and appliance tipovers according to CPSC staff’s most recent estimates from 2006.
“Large TVs and unstable furniture can be a deadly combination. Taking simple, low-cost steps to secure furniture and TVs can save lives,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “Parents need to know about this hidden danger and take action now.”
Typically, injuries and deaths occur when children climb onto, fall against or pull themselves up on television stands, shelves, bookcases, dressers, desks, chests and appliances. In some cases, televisions placed on top of furniture will tip over and cause a child to suffer traumatic and sometimes fatal injuries.
To help prevent tip-over hazards, the CPSC offers the following safety tips:
- Furniture should be stable on its own. For added security, anchor chests, dressers, TV stands, bookcases and entertainment units to the floor or attach them to a wall.
- Place TVs on a sturdy, low-rise base. Avoid flimsy shelves.
- Push the TV as far back on its stand as possible.
- Place electrical cords out of a child’s reach and teach kids not to play with them.
- Keep remote controls and other attractive items off the TV stand so kids won’t be tempted to grab for them and risk knocking the TV over.
- Make sure free-standing ranges and stoves are installed with anti-tip brackets.
This year, the CPSC is intensifying its outreach efforts by partnering with numerous organizations, including clinics and second-hand stores, to disseminate a two minute PSA (transcript) including a powerful testimonial of a parent who lost her two-year-old in a TV tipover incident and a poster (pdf). In addition, consumers will be able to stream a 20 second version (transcript) of the PSA through October 23, 2010 by texting TVFALL to 878787.
Consumers can also download CPSC's updated safety alert (pdf).
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.