CPSC urges parents to take the simple, low-cost steps of inspecting and securing TVs, furniture, and appliances to prevent tip-over deaths and injuries. Young children exploring and playing in their home may be exposed to hidden dangers in every room. Injuries and deaths usually occur when children climb onto, fall against, or pull themselves up on television stands, shelves, bookcases, dressers, desks, chests, and appliances.

CPSC estimates that in 2006 alone, 16,300 children under age 5 were treated in emergency rooms due to injuries associated with TV, furniture, and appliance tip-overs. Between 2001 and 2006, CPSC received reports of 134 tip-over related deaths, and is aware of at least 30 media reports of tip-over deaths since 2007. A new national study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found a 40% increase in the number of injuries from furniture tip-overs during 1990-2007.

To help prevent tip-over hazards, CPSC suggests that furniture should be stable on its own, and anchored to the floor or wall for additional security. TVs should be placed only on sturdy, low-rise bases and pushed as far back as possible. All electrical cords should be placed out of a child’s reach, and kids should be taught not to play with them. Finally, free-standing ranges and stoves should be installed with anti-tip brackets.

For comprehensive information on furniture tip-over safety, visit the Katie Elise Lambert Foundation.