Preventing TV Tip-Over Accidents As a Parent
News Even parents who’ve safely secured their primary living area may overlook hazards elsewhere in the home.
About three children are injured every hour in the United States when a television, piece of furniture or appliance that is not secured tips over on them, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In nearly 30 percent of these accidents, both a television and the furniture holding it fall.
What to shop for
Parents can lessen the risk of tip-over accidents by selecting furnishings that meet the industry’s voluntary stability standard, say officials from the American Home Furnishings Alliance. Any furniture, with or without a television, can be a climbing temptation for small children — particularly if the furniture has drawers.
That’s why the U.S. furniture industry, in partnership with child safety experts and regulatory officials, developed a stability standard that applies to storage furniture — including dressers and chests — taller than 30 inches.
“More than a third of the households with children under age 6 said they have moved an old TV into a child’s bedroom.”
In place since 2000 and updated as recently as 2014, the measure is voluntary, and not all furniture meets the standard. But shoppers can easily find complying products in all styles and price brackets by looking for this permanent warning label, usually located inside a top drawer:
Products that meet the stability standard must carry this warning label and must be delivered with tip restraints as an added safety measure — but it’s up to the homeowner to install those restraints.
In homes where small children are present, securing furniture and televisions should be as routine as using outlet covers and cabinet locks. Tip restraints for this purpose are inexpensive (starting at $4.99) and available both online and in the childproofing section of many home improvement and baby stores.
In 2012, we asked 1,000 consumers what they did with their old TV the last time they bought a new one. More than a third of the households with children under age 6 said they have moved an old TV into a child’s bedroom.
Frequently, these relocated TVs are placed on dressers, bookshelves or other furniture that was not designed to hold electronics. In homes with youngsters, these choices can be disastrous. We recommend placing televisions and other electronics on furniture specifically designed for that purpose, and the TV should always be anchored to the wall or to the furniture.