Tip-over accidents may occur when children climb or pull on top-heavy furniture. Children who are caught underneath heavy furniture could be hurt by blunt-force trauma, oxygen deprivation and lacerations. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an estimated 33,000 people are injured by tip-over accidents each year in the US. This number amounts to an injury every 15 minutes. Toddlers account for two-third of tip-over accident victims.
The CPSC has helpful tips for parents to help them prevent tip-over accidents. According to the CPSC, parents should keep tempting objects, such as toys, away from top-heavy furniture. Furniture can also be secured with wall anchors or anti-tip brackets. For example, the CPSC maintains that parents should anchor flat screen televisions that are not mounted to walls. The CPSC also says that parents should avoid certain combinations for furniture. Heavy objects should never be placed on flimsy pieces of furniture.
Can Recalled Furniture Cause Tip-Over Accidents?
In some cases, tip-over accidents can still occur even when parents do everything right. Furniture could contain design or manufacturing defects. IKEA MALM dressers may be a good example of defective furniture products.
IKEA recalled more than 29 million dressers in 2015, including eight million from its MALM line. According to consumer safety advocates, IKEA’s recalled dressers were not safe because they could easily tip-over if they are not secured to a wall. The dressers are believed to be responsible for the deaths of seven children in the US.
Existing industry standards should prevent certain types of furniture from tipping over without being anchored to the wall. IKEA recently settled a lawsuit filed by parents who allege the MALM dressers were responsible for the deaths of their children. Target recently recalled its four-drawer Room Essentials dressers due to an increased tip-over risk.
For future updates on consumer product safety news, continue following our blog. At Riddle & Brantley, LLP, Safety Counts.