In an effort to curb childhood deaths and injuries from tip-over accidents, in June 2015, The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) launched a national public education campaign called “Anchor It!”. Tip-over accidents from TVs and other furniture are one of the top hidden hazards in the home. Parents should try to look at their decor through the eyes of a curious, exploring toddler who may be tempted to climb on furniture like a jungle gym.
According to data gathered by the CPSC, one child is killed every two weeks and a child is brought to the emergency room every 24 minutes due to tip-overs from unstable and unsecured TVs and other large pieces of furniture. Parents need to understand that a television tipping over from an average size dresser falls with thousands of pounds of force. Unsecured top-heavy furniture or televisions placed on furniture, instead of a TV stand are common causes for tip-over accidents. Two-thirds of tip-over injuries involved children younger than 5 and they are almost all preventable.
The “Anchor It!” campaign is providing cards and posters to parents and caregivers of toddlers at daycare centers and pre-schools across the country. The literature provides an explanation of the hidden dangers of tip-overs, as well as the simple steps that can be taken to eliminate these dangers.
Tip-Over Accident Safety Tips
- Televisions that are not wall mounted should still be anchored to the wall.
- Mount flat-screen TVs to the wall or to furniture.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to secure TVs and furniture properly.
- CRT televisions should only be placed on low, stable furniture designed to hold a television, such as TV stands or media centers, and should be anchored to the wall or the TV stand. If anchoring a TV is not possible, push it as far back to the wall as you can.
- Existing furniture can be anchored with inexpensive anti-tip brackets found at the hardware store. New furniture, such as dressers, is typically sold with anti-tip brackets, which should be installed right away.
- Remove items that might tempt kids to climb, such as toys and remote controls, from the top of the TV and furniture.
- Buy and install low-cost anchoring devices for any existing furniture lacking this safety feature.
- Avoid leaving items, such as remote controls and toys, in places where kids can see them and might be tempted to climb up to reach for them.
- Store heavier items such as books on lower shelves or in lower drawers to help anchor the base.
- When you purchase a new TV, consider recycling the old one. If you are moving the old one to a different room, secure it to the wall.
Visit www.AnchorIt.gov for more details on how to anchor your household furniture to increase safety in your home. The outreach campaign also includes television broadcast public service announcements (PSAs) and outdoor billboard PSAs for buses and subway trains.
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