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COVID-19 ‘Stay-at-Home,’ Coupled with Super Bowl LV Viewing, Can Mean Danger for Kids from Falling Furniture and TVs; CPSC Releases New Report Data

Release Date: January 28, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- With families spending more time indoors due to COVID-19 restrictions, children are at an increased risk of injury or death from furniture and TV tip-overs. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) latest report on tip-overs illustrates the ongoing need for parents and caregivers to address this risk, including the use of easy-to-install, affordable anti-tip kits to protect their children and give themselves peace of mind. Millions will watch Super Bowl LV on February 7, and the time is now to anchor all TVs in the home, including new ones bought during holiday sales, or purchased in anticipation of the “Big Game.”

CPSC’s report shows alarming statistics. Between 2000 and 2019, 451 children age 17 and under were killed by furniture and TV tip-over incidents. During the period from 2017 through 2019, an annual average of 11,100 children were treated in hospital emergency rooms for tip-over-related injuries. Seventy-nine (79) percent of all furniture and TV tip-over fatalities involved children younger than six. Seventy-five (75) percent of fatal incidents for children involved a TV. 

“Tip-over injuries and deaths are among the most tragic we see,” said Acting Chairman Robert Adler. “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. And these tip-overs happen so fast; it’s literally in the blink of an eye, often with a parent close by.”

According to a 2020 CPSC survey, many parents and caregivers who did not anchor furniture and TVs believed it was not necessary, as long as they were watching the kids. This approach too often proves false, as shown in CPSC’s latest safety video, where real-life footage of falling furniture could have resulted in child deaths. Media can download the video, “Even When You’re Watching.”

To protect children from a tip-over incident, CPSC urges parents and caregivers to follow simple safety steps:

  • 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, particularly if anchoring is not possible.
  • Avoid displaying or storing items, such as toys and remotes, in places where kids might be tempted to climb up to reach for them.
  • Store heavier items on lower shelves, or in lower drawers.
  • If purchasing a new TV for the “Big Game,” consider recycling older ones not currently in use. If moving the older TV to another room, be sure it is anchored to the wall properly.
  • Keep TV and cable cords out of reach of children.
  • Even in rooms with TVs and furniture anchored, adult supervision is still recommended.

 

About Anchor It!

  • CPSC launched its Anchor It! campaign in 2015, in collaboration with families who have experienced tip-over incidents, to help other families avoid the dangers of falling furniture and TVs.  
  • Rates of injury and fatalities from tip-overs are higher than most people could imagine.
  • Anchor It! promotes how-to guides for life-saving preventative actions for consumers.
  • Anchor It! works with many manufacturers to encourage them to provide anchors with their products, and with home improvement stores and websites to carry affordable anchoring kits.
Release Number
21-072

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 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.

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