June 2009 Web Exclusive Article

Guard Against Furniture Tipping

A few weeks ago, Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, released research showing that accidents involving children climbing on and tipping over furniture have increased in recent years, despite warnings from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Many of these accidents involve a television placed on an unsuitable piece of furniture, often a storage unit with drawers or doors, such as a chest, dresser, or armoire. Small children open the drawers and try to climb them to reach the controls on the television. Or they try to grasp a remote control or a toy that has been placed on or near the television.

The television makes the piece front-heavy to begin with; then the child’s weight on the front causes the entire piece to tip.

The American Home Furnishings Alliance is taking a proactive stance in helping to reduce the number of these avoidable accidents. Furniture “tip restraints” are inexpensive and readily available from websites such as www.onestepahead.com and www.safety1st.com. To encourage the use of these restraints throughout the home, AHFA offers a free tip restraint to parents.

For information on how to receive the free tip restraint and for a list of steps you can take to minimize the risk of furniture tipping in your home, look for the Safety Alert on the AHFA's website, www.findyourfurniture.com.