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Furniture Tip-Overs - A Danger for Children

December 23, 2016 | Category: Child Injuries, Personal Injury | Share

Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio says that “most parents do not think of furniture and TVs as dangerous. However, when these items tip over, serious injury can, and does, occur. When children play in the house, they often use dressers and shelves as climbing toys, leading to tip-overs. Additionally, with large TVs becoming more and more popular, the risk of serious injury from a TV falling increases. Over the last 18 years, the number of injuries from furniture and TV tip-overs has increased, suggesting more needs to be done to prevent these injuries.” 

Furniture Tip-Overs - A Danger for ChildrenThe Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida says a child is rushed to the emergency room every 45 minutes because of a TV tip over. Three of those children die each year.  

On Sunday, October 30, 2016, NBC-2 reported that a TV fell on a 3-year-old boy as he was trying to climb a dresser. He was unresponsive when the paramedics got to the home and was rushed to the hospital. 

According to 

  • There has been a 31 percent increase in TV tip-over related injuries over the past 10 years.
  • Seven out of 10 children injured by TV tip-overs are 5 or younger.
  • A 36-inch CRT television falling three feet creates the same momentum as a 1-year-old child falling 10 stories. 

It is not just TV’s that can be a tip-over risk. Any of the following are a tip-over risk says the Shanes Foundation

  • Changing tables
  • Dressers of any height
  • Armoires of any height
  • Bookcases of any height
  • Televisions of any size (especially large tube-style, but also ALL flat screen TVs - small and large)
  • Floor lamps
  • Standing mirrors 

What causes tip-overs? 

Most injuries occur when unsecured furniture falls or tips over. Many times a child pulls the furniture onto himself. Other causes include children climbing the furniture or pushing it over on another child. Young children are not able to think about the danger of their actions. They are often not fast enough to avoid a falling piece of furniture, or strong enough to lift the furniture off of themselves if they are trapped, according to The Child Injury Prevention Alliance. 

Do any laws cover this type of accident? 

There currently is no mandatory federal standard for furniture stability. However, there is a voluntary ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) international standard. This voluntary standard includes two performance tests. One test has all the drawers of an empty unit opened. In order to pass, the unit must not tip over. The second test has one drawer open at a time. This open drawer is weighted with a 50-pound weight and must not tip over. There are also guidelines for instructions and warnings in the ASTM voluntary standard along with the requirement for the inclusion of a tip-resistant device to affix the furniture to the wall. recommends the following TV and furniture tip-over prevention tips: 

  • Check TVs
  • Assess the stability of the TVs in your home.
  • Secure TVs
  • Mount flat screen TVs to the wall to reduce the risk of TVs toppling off stands. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you protect your wall and have a secure fit.
  • If you have a heavier, box-style cathode ray tube (CRT) TV place it on a low, stable piece of furniture that is appropriate for the TV's size and weight.
  • Recycle Old TVs
  • If you no longer use your CRT TV, consider recycling it. To find a location to safely and easily recycle unwanted TVs, go to
  • Secure Furniture
  • Use brackets, braces or wall straps to secure unstable or top-heavy furniture to the wall.
  • Install stops on dresser drawers to prevent them from being pulled all the way out. Multiple open drawers can cause the weight to shift, making it easier for a dresser to fall.
  • Rearrange Household Items
  • Keep heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers.
  • Avoid placing remote controls, food, toys or other items in places where kids might be tempted to climb up or reach for them.

“Furniture and TV tip-overs are very dangerous for children and often may be the result of poor design, manufacture or installation. Should your child be injured because of a furniture or TV tip-over, seek medical attention first, then contact our experienced team at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.,” said Fort Myers Child Injuries Attorney, Randall Spivey.



Fort Myers Child Injuries Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys.  He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.  For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to  Visit for more information.  You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.




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