CPSC reminds families to protect children from television, furniture tip-overs in advance of Super Bowl

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Americans everywhere prepare to purchase new TVs ahead of the big game on Sunday, February 12, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has released new numbers showing more needs to be done to protect children from TV and furniture-related tip-over deaths and injuries. 

CPSC’s latest report on furniture, TV, and appliance tip-over injuries and fatalities shows there are still thousands of furniture-related tip-over incidents annually. The report found an estimated annual average of 19,400 emergency department (ED)-treated injuries associated with tip-over incidents from 2019 to 2021. Between 2000 and 2021, there were 592 reported fatalities, of which 81% involved children under the age of 18. 

Other key findings:  

  • 70% of all child fatalities involved a falling television (From 2000–2021)
  •  93% of TV tip-overs involved head injuries
  • Of the 482 children killed in tip-over-related incidents, 426–or 88%–were under 5 years old (From 2000–2021)
  • Non-Hispanic Black Americans made up 23% of the known ED-treated injuries where race/ethnicity was known, compared to their 13% of the U.S. population (From 2019–2021)

“Furniture and TV tip-overs remain a major safety hazard in American households,” said CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric. “CPSC advanced key regulations last year that will apply to certain furniture. But people can take action in their own homes right now, by purchasing and installing anti-tip-over kits. Most kits cost less than $20 and can be installed in fewer than 20 minutes. As consumers purchase new TVs before Sunday’s big game kick-off, we urge everyone to take those 20 minutes and help ensure new TVs, along with all other furniture, are anchored safely in place.” 

In October 2022, CPSC approved a new safety standard for clothing storage units (CSUs) that mandates such units are tested for stability and labeled, a much-needed improvement that will help ensure fewer children are at risk. In addition, in December 2022, the federal STURDY Act became law, which also requires a safety standard to protect children from tip-overs. 

For consumers’ peace of mind, the CPSC’s Anchor It! campaign website outlines three simple steps designed to reduce the risk of a tip-over incident. Learn how to anchor furniture safely here.

CPSC urges all adults to take essential steps to protect their families from dangerous tip-over risks:

• Anchor TVs and furniture, such as bookcases and dressers, securely to the wall.

• Always place TVs on a sturdy, low base, and push the TV back as far as possible, particularly if anchoring is not possible.

• Avoid displaying or storing items, such as toys and remotes, where kids may be tempted to climb to reach for them.

• Store heavier items on lower shelves, or in lower drawers.

• If purchasing a new TV, consider a recycling center to dispose of older ones not currently in use. If moving TV to another room, be sure it is anchored to the wall properly.

• Keep TV and cable cords out of reach of children.

• Even when TVs and furniture are anchored, adult supervision is still recommended.

CPSC’s Anchor It! Campaign’s recent PSA safety video includes real-life footage of children and falling furniture. Media can download the video: “Even When You’re Watching.”

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