For every parent and household with young children, we have a message for you: one child dies every two weeks and a child goes to an emergency room every 24 minutes because a TV, furniture, or a combination of both tips over and falls onto them.
Children are natural explorers, and to them, the home is meant to be explored. As young children begin to crawl and walk, and test their abilities to climb, reach and accomplish things on their own, deadly hidden dangers are revealed. A recent Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) study has uncovered some harrowing data:
- There are an estimated 38,000 emergency-department treading injuries related to a TV and furniture tip-over incidents every year
- 81 percent of all tip-over incidents occur at home
- And even more tragic, of all furniture and TV tip-over fatalities, 65% involve children younger than five.
With these statistics in mind, CPSC has launched the Anchor It! Campaign, a nationwide public education effort aimed at stopping child deaths and injuries that result from furniture and TV tip-overs. The goal of the campaign is to prevent these incidents by educating parents and caregivers with young children about the simple, low-cost steps to secure the furniture and TVs in their home.
“Unsecured furniture and TVs in homes with little ones who love to climb creates a dangerous tip-over scenario,” said CPSC Commissioners Marietta Robinson and Joseph Mohorovic. “We’ve launched the Anchor It! Campaign to give parents the facts on how to safely and simply anchor their TVs and furniture so we can stop these preventable tragedies.”
Advocates say tip-over incidents are almost entirely preventable, with more awareness and action.
“Prior to my son, Shane’s, death as a result of a tip-over incident, I did not know furniture and television tip-over deaths and injuries were an all-too-common occurrence in this country,” said Lisa Siefert, Founder of Shane’s Foundation. “Each of these incidents can be prevented with an increased awareness about the danger and the installation of low-cost anchoring devices.”
One of the contributing factors to electronics tip-overs relates to the purchase of new flat screen TVs. When consumers move older, and often times heavier, box-shaped TVs into a child’s bedroom or a family room, it is often placed on unstable furniture that is not intended for the size or weight of the TV – a place that can pose a great danger to children.
While a falling flat-screen TV can seriously injure or kill a child, a CPSC report indicates that older CRT TVs have the potential to strike a child with a force six times greater than a flat screen the same size. Thus, it is particularly critical that older TVs be secured so they do not tip over. Older TVs no longer in use should be recycled in an environmentally safe manner.
“When we see these statistics of child ER visits related to tip-over incidents, we know that we must take action now,” said Robinson and Mohorovic. “CPSC’s new Anchor It! Campaign is a call-to-action for parents and caregivers. We urge you to get on top of it, before the children do.”
The public education campaign will target parents, retailers, and the media. Public service advertising materials will be distributed in English and Spanish to broadcast TV stations, cable TV stations and to shopping malls, airports, and transit systems nationwide.
The campaign encourages the public to visit www.AnchorIt.gov, learn about the dangers and then take the necessary steps to eliminate the hazard in the home.