Hazards for Children- Tipovers
“Tipovers” occur when an appliance or large piece of furniture tips over and falls. Because of their size, small children can easily become victims of tipovers- which can cause injury or even death. According to a release from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), on average, one child dies every two weeks due to tipovers.
- Between 2000 and 2008, CPSC staff received reports of nearly 200 tipover related deaths involving children eight years old and younger
- Nearly all of these fatalities (93%) involved children five years old and younger
- More than 16,000 children five years old and younger were treated in emergency rooms in 2006 because of injuries associated with TVs, furniture, and appliance tipovers
Avoiding Tipover Accidents
According to the report, the injuries and deaths occur when children: “climb onto, fall against or pull themselves up on television stands, shelves, bookcases, dressers, desks, chests and appliances.” Strict supervision is always the best preventative measure for keeping children safe; however, there are ways to avoid accidents by “tip-proofing” your house.
Safety Tips from CPSC:
- Furniture should be stable on its own- anchor chests, dressers, TV stands, bookcases and entertainment units to the floor or attach them to a wall
- Place TVs on a sturdy, low-rise base- avoid flimsy shelves
- Push the TV as far back on its stand as possible
- Place electrical cords out of a child’s reach and teach kids not to play with them
- Keep remote controls and other attractive items off the TV stand so kids won’t be tempted to grab for them and risk knocking the TV over
- Make sure free-standing ranges and stoves are installed with anti-tip brackets
Manufacturers are also responsible for making furniture and appliances safe. According to the CPSC, there are voluntary safety standards in place for TV stands/carts, chests, bureaus, and dressers, which require the furniture pass stability tests. If a piece of furniture is found to violate the appropriate standard, the product can be recalled.
Additional Tips about TVs from ConsumerReports.org:
- Consider a TV stand that has a lip along the outer edge to keep the TV from being pushed or pulled off
- Put a non-skid mat under the TV to make it harder for a child to move it
- If available, buy the stand specifically designed for your TV by the manufacturer, as well as any hardware to secure the TV to the stand or wall
- Do not put a TV on furniture with drawers— such as dressers or chests—that can be pulled out by young children and used to climb
- Do not place toys, remote controls, or other tempting items on top of TVs or other tall furniture
Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney
At Thomas J. Henry, we have the experience and resources to handle your child’s case. If your child has been the victim of a serious injury, contact our offices. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends.