A new study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio shows a 40% increase in furniture tip-over incidents over the last 18 years. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Pediatrics tracked 12 types of furniture including dressers, bookshelves, televisions, and cabinets.
The study indicates that most injuries occur to children six years old or younger. The most common incidents involved televisions, which are often placed on furniture not intended for that purpose. TVs fell on these children as they were pulling themselves up or reaching for something. In other cases, furniture fell when bumped or because children were climbing on it. Some of these incidents can be prevented by taking a critical look around the house at unstable objects, and strapping TVs to their stand and attaching tall bookshelves to the wall.
Parents often make the error of putting things up high beyond reach. If a curious child knows about the location, without supervision, he may try to find a way to climb up to get it. On average, 14,000 American children are injured each year from furniture tip-over accidents.
To reduce accidents, researchers recommend that parents reinforce their parenting skills with with methods to keep their household safer from furniture-tipping accidents.