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Hidden Home Hazard: Tipping Furniture

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says tens of thousands of injuries and a few deaths occur each year from an unexpected hazard: heavy furniture tipping over on kids. Now the CPSC and safety advocates are calling on manufacturers to make furniture more stable. They’re also asking parents to educate themselves on this hidden danger.

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In 2010, the most recent year that statistics are available, tippy furniture sent about 23,600 people (the highest number since 2006) to emergency rooms, most of them kids under 10. Around 300 deaths occurred between 2000 and 2010.

The current voluntary safety standard is that dressers and chests must remain stable when the drawers are open and a 50-lb weight is placed on top (meant to simulate a 5-year-old). Tip restraints that attach the piece to the wall are also supposed to be included. However, now safety advocates are questioning if stricter, mandatory guidelines should be put in place since many manufacturers don’t comply with these standards. Also adding to the problem: a recent phone survey found only 36 percent of parents with kids under age 6 take steps to anchor their TV and furniture.

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Is this a hazard that worries you? Have you taken steps to stabilize your furniture? Leave a comment.