More than 560K children injured over last 3 decades by furniture, TV tip-overs, study says

Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 10:06 AM CDT
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(CNN) – A new study shows falling furniture and TVs pose a dangerous risk to young children.

The study, published in the journal Injury Epidemiology, shows more than 560,000 children have been treated in the emergency room from 1990 to 2019 after being hurt by furniture or TVs that have tipped over.

“It happens very quickly. The child can be trapped underneath,” said Dr. Gary Smith, the study’s senior author.

Seventy percent of those hurt were younger than 6. Most of them were around 2 years old.

The research shows almost half of the injuries were to the head or neck.

Dressers and wardrobes account for about 17% of all tip-over injuries.

“These types of furniture are often placed on carpet,” Smith said.

“The drawers are loaded, and multiple drawers may be opened at the same time, and that increases the potential for that furniture to tip over on a child.”

Smith said to help prevent tip-overs, parents should secure furniture to the wall using safety straps or L-brackets.

He said to mount TVs to the wall when possible. If you can’t, put a TV on an appropriate piece of furniture that’s designed to hold it, and anchor both to the wall.

He also advised parent to keep TVs and furniture clear. Placing things on top of them, like a remote control, may encourage children to climb.

Smith, however, said these steps aren’t enough.

“We need manufacturers to step up and make furniture and TVs more stable to begin with,” he said.

Even when furniture appears sturdy, Smith said looks can be deceiving.

A bill addressing furniture tip-overs is awaiting action in the Senate. If it becomes law, it would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to create a mandatory federal rule to ensure furniture stability.

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