The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a new release called The Tipping Point: Highest Number of TV and Furniture Tip-Over Deaths Recorded By CPSC in 2011. The CPSC, "is urging parents of young children to anchor and stabilize their televisions, furniture, and appliances to prevent tip-over related incidents. In a quest to reach a toy, TV or game remote, or other desired item, young children are using dressers and tables as climbing devices and the results are tragic." Says CPSC in its release:
A new CPSC data report (pdf) issued today shows that 349 consumers (84 percent of them were children younger than age 9) were killed between 2000 and 2011, when TVs, furniture or appliances toppled over onto them. Last year (2011) had the highest one-year number of fatalities reported. The 41 recorded fatalities is an increase from 31 in 2010 and 27 in 2009. This total also may increase in future years as additional fatalities are reported.
Why on earth would there be such an increase? There are some theories:
Some reports indicate that as families purchase or transition to flat screen televisions, their older and often heavier televisions are moved into bedrooms and other rooms in the house, without the proper stand or anchoring device accompanying them. Many of the reported fatalities occurred in bedrooms, living rooms and family rooms with 40 percent occurring in bedrooms and 19 percent occurring in living rooms or family rooms.
Here is what CPSC recommends:
- Anchor furniture to the wall or the floor.
- Place TVs on sturdy, low bases, or anchor the furniture and the TV on top the base, and push the TV as far back on the furniture as possible.
- Keep remote controls, toys, and other items that might attract children off of TV stands or furniture.
- Keep TV and/or cable cords out of reach of children.
- Make sure freestanding kitchen ranges and stoves are installed with anti-tip brackets.
- Supervise children in rooms where these safety tips have not been followed.
Turns out, funiture can be lethal too. Child safety starts at home.