Child Injuries and Deaths Due to Unstable Furniture
Most parents want to keep their child safe. However, many forget to fully secure their homes. This exposes their children to the danger of unstable furniture. The fix for this problem is simple. Parents of small children should anchor potentially unstable to the wall to prevent tipping of falling. Having represented individuals who have lost a young child due being struck by unstable furniture, the dangers here cannot be overstated.
In 2017, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (SPSC) released a study which reviewed deaths and ER-treated injuries due to furniture instability and tip-over. The study examined the number of people killed or injured, the cause and the age group affected. Between 2000-2016, 514 deaths were attributed to tipping or unstable furniture. Child deaths accounted for 431 of those. Children under 4 accounted for 343, or every 1 out of 3, deaths! The most common cause of death was attributed to the victim being crushed.
The same study found that from 2014-2016, there was an annual average of almost 31,000 ER-treating injuries from falling furniture. Of those almost 31,000 injuries, 15,800 (52%) involved children under the age of 18 with 8,200 of those being children under 4.
In response to these dangers, the CPSC launched it’s “Anchor It!” campaign. This campaign is designed to inform parents how to prevent tip-over injuries and deaths. Some easy ways to help prevent tip-over injuries or deaths include:
* Securing your TV and/or Top-Heavy Furniture to the wall – this includes anchoring them to prevent tip-over.
* Mount Flat-Screen TVs.
* Remove Objects Which May Tempt Children To Climb – such as toys or remote controls being removed from the top of the TV or furniture.
One of the issues surrounding the prevalence of furniture instability is the absence of any government stability standards. However, even in their absence there still exists voluntary standards which can be found at ASTM International’s website. In 2000, the first furniture stability standards were adopted. Since that time the stability standards have been updated as needed. The stability standards concerning free standing clothing storage units were last updated in 2017.
Some Recent Articles on Furniture Tip-Over Dangers
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