Parent Guide: Preventing furniture tip-overs

tip-over-accident-poster
Click to enlarge »

It’s no secret – children love to climb and the items in your home often serve as their own personal playground. But did you know furniture, televisions, and other appliances are just some of the potential hazards lurking in your home? According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a child goes to the emergency room ever 24 minutes because of tip-over accident involving furniture or a television. Every two weeks, one of those accidents proves to be fatal.

THE DANGER

The below video from the CPSC shows just how quickly tip-over accidents can happen.

REAL-LIFE TRAGEDIES

In the below video from the CPSC, parents who know the dangers of tip-over accidents all too well share their tragic stories, hoping others will learn from their experiences.

STEPS YOU CAN TAKE

While it’s next to impossible to watch your child every second of the day, there are steps you can take to prevent a tip-over tragedy. The CPSC Tipover Information Center recommends you:

USE STURDY FURNITURE

Televisions should only be placed on furniture designed to hold a television, such as television stands or media centers.

Store heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers.

SECURE YOUR TV

Televisions that are not wall mounted should still be anchored to the wall.

If anchoring your television is not possible, push it as far back as possible.

MOUNT FLAT-SCREEN TVS

Mount flat-screen TVs to the wall or to furniture to prevent them from toppling over.

The CPSC said a television can fall with the force of a thousand pounds. That’s 10 times more powerful than being hit by an NFL lineman.

FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to secure TVs and furniture properly.

LOW AND STABLE – CRT TV

CRT televisions (tube televisions) should only be placed on furniture designed to hold a television and should be anchored to the wall or the TV stand.

If you purchase a new television, consider recycling older ones not currently in use.

SECURE TOP-HEAVY FURNITURE

Existing furniture can be anchored with inexpensive anti-tip brackets.

New furniture, such as dressers, are sold with anti-tip devices. Install them right away.

REMOVE TEMPTING OBJECTS

Remove items that might tempt kids to climb, such as toys and remote controls, from the top of the TV and furniture.

The CPSC said two-thirds of TV and furniture tip-over deaths involve toddlers.

PURCHASE AND INSTALL ANTI-TIP DEVICES

Anti-tip devices are sold online and in-stores for prices ranging from $5 to $25. Consumers can visit their local home improvement, electronic or mass merchandise store to purchase anti-tip devices. An online search for “anti-tip strap” or “anti-tip kit” will result in a variety of purchase options.  Install the anti-tip devices according to manufacturer instructions, and always double check the attachment points to make sure the device is secure.

VITAL LINKS

CPSC Tip-Over Information Center »

AnchorIt.gov »