Tip-Over Safety

When children are young, they like to explore and become familiar with new objects and places. This can include climbing on furniture, such as dressers, bookshelves, televisions or a TV stand. Climbing on furniture or reaching for items in high places can cause furniture to become unbalanced and tip over.

According to a Consumer Product Safety Commission report released in November of 2019, 459 children have died from tip-over incidents between 2000 and 2018 in the United States; 158 of those fatalities involved televisions and furniture. More than two-thirds of total fatalities occurred to children between 1 and 3.5 years of age; and nearly 80% of all fatalities involved children 5 years old and younger.

Injuries related to tip-overs are a daily concern, with an annual average of 12,500 children receiving treatment at an emergency department from 2016-2018. A child is injured from a tip-over almost every 43 minutes. Furthermore, a fatality occurs nearly every 12 days from a tip-over.

Tip-overs generally occur in the home – more than 9 out of 10 deaths happened in this setting. More so, nearly half of all tip-over deaths occur in a bedroom.

Tip-Over Safety Tips

  • Anchor furniture to the wall by installing affordable anchoring devices or brackets to prevent tip-overs.
  • Secure your flat-panel TV with a wall mount that has a safety certification by an independent laboratory, such as UL, CSA, ETL.
  • For households with a heavier, box-style TV, place it on a low, stable piece of furniture and push TV as far back as possible, especially if anchoring is not possible.
  • Do not place toys or other items in places where children might be tempted to climb.
  • Heavier items should be stored on lower shelves or in lower drawers.
  • Keep TV cables and cords away from children.
  • In areas where furniture and/or TVs have not been properly secured to the wall, make sure to supervise children.
  • If you make the decision to purchase a new TV, consider recycling older ones not in use.