Child Injury Prevention Alliance

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FURNITURE TIP-OVERS

Most parents do not think of furniture and TVs as dangerous. However, when these items tip-over, serious injury can and does occur.

FURNITURE TIP-OVER FACTS
  • More than 40 children younger than 18 years of age visit the emergency department for injuries from furniture tip-overs each day.
  • TV tip-overs cause the most injuries for children younger than 10 years.
  • Desks, cabinets and bookshelves tipping over lead to the greatest number of injuries to children ages 10-17 years. 

WHAT CAUSES TIP-OVERS?
  • Most injuries occur when unsecured furniture falls or tips-over.
  • Many times a child pulls the furniture onto himself.
  • Other causes include children climbing the furniture or pushing it over on another child.
  • Young children are not able to think about the danger of their actions. They are often not fast enough to avoid a falling piece of furniture, or strong enough to lift the furniture off of themselves if they are trapped.

PREVENTION TIPS
  • Place the TV on a low, wide base, and push it as far back on its base as possible. Check that the size and weight limit of the stand will hold your TV.
  • Do not use shelves or dressers as TV stands. These are not made to support the weight of a TV. 
  • Strap all TVs to a stable stand and/or wall.
  • Attach large furniture, such as dressers and bookshelves, to the wall using safety straps, L-brackets, or other secure attachment devices.
  • Safety straps are available that do not require drilling holes in furniture and can secure items up to 100 lbs.
  • Place heavy items on lower shelves of bookcases or entertainment centers. 
  • Use desks with wide legs or solid bases.
  • Install drawer stops on all drawers.
  • Parents should not place items of interest (toys, remote control) high on shelves or on top of the TV. Children may try to climb up the furniture to reach these items.
  • Keep cords from TVs and other appliances tucked away so a child does not pull these items down on himself.
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Content provided by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s

 


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