New CPSC Report Shows Children, Older Adults Remain at Most Risk for Tip-Over Incidents; Disparities Remain Among Certain Demographics
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As many Americans prepare to purchase new TVs ahead of the big game on Sunday, February 11, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released new data today that show tip-over incidents land thousands of children in emergency rooms every year; with children also representing 71 percent of fatalities associated with this hazard.
The report, which focuses on injuries and fatalities that result from furniture, TV, and appliance tip-over incidents, shows that 17,800 people annually are injured in these incidents. Of that number, children under age 18 suffered 44 percent of injuries, amounting to a child being treated in an emergency department (ED-treated) every 53 minutes.
Incident disparities among certain demographics, particularly Black non-Hispanics, persist where race/ethnicity is known. Among the 137 reported child fatalities from January 2013 through July 2023, Black non-Hispanic children accounted for 32 percent of those deaths while only comprising about 14 percent of the U.S. population of children. And from 2020 to 2022, among the ED-treated injuries to adults ages 18 years to 59 years, Black non-Hispanic adults accounted for 32 percent of those injuries despite making up only 13 percent of the U.S. population.
In addition, the number of tip-over injuries impacting older adults (those aged 60+) has been on the rise, as the estimated number of ED-treated injuries involving furniture-only tip-overs has steadily grown over the past decade from 1,800 in 2013 to 4,300 in 2022.
Other key findings include:
- Of the 217 reported tip-over fatalities from 2013 through July 2023 to all ages, 47 percent involved a television, and 55 percent involved children between 1 and 3 years old;
- Of the estimated annual average 17,800 ED-treated injuries from 2020-2022 to all ages, 82 percent involved furniture, and 22 percent involved children between 1 and 3 years old.
“Furniture and TV tip-overs remain a significant safety hazard in American households,” said CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric. “The data show that tip-overs pose a specific risk to children, and that African American communities are disproportionately injured and die as a result of this hazard. While CPSC adopted a new mandatory rule under the STURDY Act last year to hold furniture manufacturers to a higher safety standard, I want to remind consumers that they should still take action in their own homes by installing anti-tip-over kits -- especially as they look ahead to the big game on Sunday, which is a popular time for large family gatherings that can include children.”
As of September 1, 2023 and beyond, all newly manufactured clothing storage furniture must meet updated safety criteria; however CPSC recommends that all clothing storage furniture, regardless of when manufactured or purchased, should be anchored and secured to prevent tragedy.
CPSC took further action to prevent tip-overs on January 12, 2024 by announcing the recall of millions of anti-tip-over kits manufactured by New Age Furniture, because the plastic zip ties could become brittle or weak over time. CPSC advises people who secured clothing storage units (manufactured in November 2019 or later) with a potentially affected kit to contact Alliance4Safety for a free replacement.
CPSC urges all adults to take essential steps to protect their families from dangerous tip-over risks:
- Anchor TVs and furniture, such as bookcases and dressers, securely to the wall.
- When anchoring is not possible, always place TVs on a sturdy, low base, push the TV back as far as possible, and keep cable cords out of reach.
- Avoid storing appealing items such as toys and remotes where kids may be tempted to climb to reach for them; store heavier items on lower shelves.
CPSC’s Anchor It! Campaign’s PSA safety video includes real-life footage of children and falling furniture. Media can download the video: “Even When You’re Watching.”
Individual Commissioners may have statements related to this topic. Please visit www.cpsc.gov/commissioners to search for statements related to this or other topics.
About the U.S. CPSC
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related 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 injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years.
Federal law prohibits any person from selling products subject to a Commission ordered recall or a voluntary recall undertaken in consultation with the CPSC.
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