- March 14, 2022
- Attorney David Mann
- Personal Injury
Every home should always be a hazard-free safe haven for the children who live there. Many parents take time and extra precautions to ensure their children are not in harm’s way. They believe their homes are safe because they don’t realize the potential dangers of many home furnishings, including bookshelves, entertainment centers, and TVs. Dangerous accidents can occur when a child climbs on a large and heavy piece of furniture, causing it to become wobbly and tip over.
There is always the potential for tall furniture to fall over, and young kids commonly climb in wide dressers and cabinets with drawers. Children love to reach, climb, and explore their surroundings, and they typically suffer injuries at a much higher rate than adults. Yet, it usually shocks parents when their child suffers such an injury and they learn how common these accidents are.
In fact, according to The Washington Post, a young child sustains injuries and seeks medical care every 46 minutes because of falling furniture accidents. The good news is that parents can take steps to safeguard their homes and help prevent dangerous tip-over and falling accidents.
How Many Children are Injured by Toppling Furniture?
Young children do not understand the risk they face of suffering severe or even fatal injuries by attempting to climb and jump on items of furniture. The child’s weight can cause the unit to topple over on them. Tip-over injuries happen more commonly than most would believe.
According to Epidemiology Journal, approximately 560,203 children sustained injuries in tip-over accidents in about 30 years. That is 18,673 children who suffer injuries from furniture accidents annually. Close to 70% of them were under six years old.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission put together this powerful video in 2009 that includes a dramatization highlighting the furniture and TV tip-over danger and damage potential from heavy falling furniture.
How Many Children are Killed by Falling Furniture?
Many children suffer severe or fatal injuries because of falling furniture or TVs. This should never occur. Yet, according to a study report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 469 such deaths from 2000 to 2019 in the United States alone. Of those deaths, 89% were children under the age of five. They further show that children were climbing or applying force in 73% of those fatalities.
How Do You Keep Furniture from Tipping?
When parents inspect their home for hazards and child-proof potential problem areas, they often overlook furniture and fail to consider tipping injuries. All large furniture is top-heavy, and this is especially the case for tall cabinets, bookshelves, and dressers. Bookshelves and tall dressers are at the highest risk of tipping, particularly when a TV or other heavy item is sitting on it. To prevent tipping accidents, follow these essential safety tips:
Anchors Are Vital in Homes with Children
Parents must ensure they anchor every heavy piece of furniture, including TVs. Securing all large furniture items and TVs is crucial to ensure the safety of children living in the home. Straps and anti-tip anchoring kits are available in stores or online at low prices. Anchors usually only take a few moments to install. See more critical furniture anchor tips and information at Anchor It!
Keep Cords Safely Out of Reach
Keep cords out of reach at all times. Keeping cables secure and out of reach will help ensure the child cannot use the cable to pull the furniture over on top of them.
Never Place Heavy Equipment High on Shelving or Furniture
Placing TVs, stereos, and other equipment as low as possible will help prevent furniture tipping. Keeping equipment low is especially crucial for older and heavier equipment.
Keep Items Children May Want in a Safe and Low Location
To prevent children from climbing to reach items on shelves, ensure there are no TV remotes, toys, or other things on higher shelves that may cause the child to attempt to get to them.
Did You Know There Was a Massive Ikea Recall?
After four children died in 2016 because faulty furniture items did not stand properly without an anchor, Ikea recalled 29 million pieces of furniture. The recall included MALM and various other models of Ikea chests.
Final Essential Safety Tip
If a landlord or building owner restricts the use of securing anchors on walls to stabilize furniture and prevent tipping, it’s best to refrain from using the piece of furniture in your home if you have small children. For TVs, you can secure the anchor at the back of an entertainment center.
Toppling and Falling Furniture False Safety Beliefs
Not only are parents shocked to learn how commonly these accidents and injuries occur, but many also falsely believe they are safe because of circulating myths, such as . . .
- Heavy dressers will not tip over. Accidents can happen any time when children are rough-housing and jumping on furniture.
- The furniture is in a room the children don’t enter. Unless the room has a bolt-lock, children will enter to explore.
- My children know better than climbing on furniture. Younger children, especially, want to learn about the world around them and explore and climb. There is no way to know for sure that a child will not climb upon an item of furniture.
- None of my furniture is dangerous. Manufacturers recall furniture items regularly, and recalls often include older pieces of furniture. It is impossible to know for sure that an article of furniture will not tip over unless you anchor and secure it.
Every parent, especially those who have young children in the home, should ensure they take every safety precautions to avoid these severe accidents. It is always best to be over- precautionary with young people in the home.
Call a Hard-Working Personal Injury Attorney at Mann Law Firm Today
If a furniture defect leads to a tipping or falling accident that causes severe or fatal injuries to your child, reach out to a qualified lawyer at Mann Law Firm immediately to schedule a consultation. One of our diligent and aggressive attorneys will advocate on your behalf inside and outside of the courtroom to get you the fair settlement you deserve.
We understand this is a devastating time for your family. We can handle the legal work and build a solid claim for damage recovery while you focus on recovering from the tragic accident. Reach out soon for a free case evaluation at 478-707-0137.