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Children Killed By Falling Furniture In 2011

41 killed by falling furniture in 2011

Falling TVs and furniture caused the death of a record number of U.S. children last year, according to federal safety statistics.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a report on December 13 that found 349 people were killed by toppling televisions, dressers and appliances between 2000 and 2011. Eighty-four percent of the victims were under the age of nine.

Forty-one people were killed in 2011 alone – or almost one death per week. This was 10 more than 2010 and the highest one-year number of tip-over fatalities ever reported.

Accidents and unintentional injuries are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

This is from the CPSC report:

CPSC estimates that more than 43,000 consumers are injured each year in tip-over incidents. More than 25,000 (59 percent) of those injuries are to children under the age of 18. Falling furniture accounts for more than half (52 percent) of the injury reports. Falling televisions have proven to be more deadly, as they are associated with more than half (62 percent) of reported fatalities.

Small children are no match for a falling dresser, wall unit or 50- to 100-pound television. Children involved in these tip-over incidents often sustain severe head and other injuries to the body as a result of being crushed by the product or trapped under its weight. In 57 percent of the reported fatalities and 39 percent of injuries, the victim was struck in the head by the falling item.

One suspected reason for the spike in fall-over deaths: As families buy flat screen televisions, their older and heavier televisions are moved into other rooms in the house without a proper stand or anchoring device.

Forty percent of the reported fatalities occurred in bedrooms and 19 percent occurred in living rooms.

Many of the accidents were caused by children climbing on tables or dressers trying to reach a toy, TV or game remote.

A number of low-cost anchoring devices are available at hardware stores and department stores. These devices help stabilize televisions, furniture, and appliances to prevent furniture tip-over accidents.

Sources:

  • Consumer Product Safety Commission http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml13/13066.html
  • CPSC Report – Product Instability or Tip-Over Injuries and Fatalities Associated With Televisions, Furniture and Appliance: 2012 Report http://www.cpsc.gov/library/foia/foia13/os/tipover2012.pdf

 

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