It’s called furniture tip-over, and one child dies every two weeks when a television, appliance or piece of furniture falls on them, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Please share this infographic —these are horrifying but important-to-know statistics. Most of the deaths involve children between the ages of 1 and 5. Three-quarters of the time, it’s a TV or piece of furniture that falls on them; a quarter of the time it’s a dresser or table. These accidents happen most often in the bedroom. Anchoring furniture, TVs and appliances is a critical way to protect your child or children who visit your home.
Three cheers to the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) for bringing public attention to this danger. AHFA supports the CPSC’s “Anchor It” campaign, and works to promote compliance with ASTM F2057-14, a voluntary furniture stability standard for freestanding clothing storage units, such as drawer chests, door chests and dressers, that are more than 30 inches high.
Here’s a typical scenario: A child sees something on top of a bedroom dresser that they want. Maybe it’s a stuffed animal that’s out of reach, or Mom’s necklaces on a jewelry tree, or a photo of Grandma. The dresser is too high. But the child may pull out the bottom dresser drawer to use as a stepstool. And if the dresser isn’t anchored to the wall—are yours? —it can fall on top of the child.
Please take a few minutes to go room by room to see if there is the potential for a life-threatening furniture tip-over in your house. And, when you’re purchasing new furniture, make sure it complies with the furniture industry’s voluntary safety standard.
About the Contributor
Helen Sullivan is Communications Counsel for the CertiPUR-US® program.