Furniture Tip-Over Accidents On the Rise

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photo by JayGirlsMom

Crash!

You might not think of your television or your bookcase, for example, as a possible danger to your child, but it definitely could be. The Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that nearly 15,000 children a year visit an emergency room from an injury received from furniture tip-overs-- a number that rose over 40 percent since 1990.

The Horn family of Kansas City knows how very real furniture tip-over accidents are; they lost their 2 1/2-year-old son Charlie when a small dresser fell over on him. Unfortunately, more than a quarter of the injuries occurred when children pulled over or climbed on furniture. It's a scary thought because, well, don't most kids go through that "monkey" stage? I know my 5 and 3-year-old climb and jump off of nearly every piece of furniture in my house--despite my warnings.

According to the study, most injuries actually occurred among kids younger than 7 from televisions tipping over. Head and neck injuries were more common to them, but children older than 9 were more likely to suffer injuries to the lower body. Children in the 10-17 year old age group were more likely to suffer injuries from desks, cabinets or bookshelves tipping over.

So what to do? I always do quick checks to make sure nothing in my house is top heavy or that it topples easily. Nationwide Children's Hospital says, "Parents can minimize risks to children by placing televisions low to the ground and near the back of their stands and strapping televisions and furniture to the wall with safety straps or L-brackets."

Has your child ever had a furniture tip-over injury?

health, safety