Furniture Tip-Over Accidents On the Rise


photo by JayGirlsMom


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


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kitte... kitten_shuga

This is certainly one of the "baby proofing" things that hasn't crossed my mind in a while. My son is almost 8 years old, so it's been a while. Now I want to go nail my bookshelf too the wall!

Rylee... RyleeMendez

We had a dresser fall on top of my baby sister when she was about 18 months.

Prayz... PrayzAlphaOmega but I have, lol.  I was trying to move a dresser with a shelf attached (or so I thought) to the top of it and I quickly realized that it really wasn't attached as I watched it fall toward my head.  Luckily, I was able to reach up and catch it real quick with my arm but I still have problems with that shoulder to this day and that was about four years ago.  So yeah, I guess if I could have an accident like this and I'm grown, then babies and even older kids probably could too.  Good Post.

Jerem... JeremysMom

My SIL watched my son one day when he was 2 1/2. She had 2- 2 shelf bookcases stacked up on top of each other with a toy on top. She went to do some laundry and heard a crash. My son had climbed up on the bookcases to get the toy and it came crashing down on him. She rushed him to the hospital and then called me. He had to have 4 staples in his head. It was very scary and we were very lucky that it wasn't more serious.

Aasiyah Aasiyah

i think something that adds to the problem is that the furniture is made of cheap material now and is not sturdy or heavy enough. We never had these problems with good old fashion heavy wood.

auror... aurorabunny

While we actually aren't big on baby proofing, this is one we took really seriously.  Everything that could potentially be pulled over in my house is strapped to the wall.  My son is very strong and this isn't something I even wanted to take a chance with.

Blueb... Bluebonnet72

   When my daughter was 3, she was nearly smashed by an in the wall ironing board.  The wooden box, with the ironing board, and iron fell out of the wall.  It barely caught her foot, but it could easily have been her whole body.  When my husband went to examine it, he found the cabinet had never been secured in the wall.  Angels were watching over her that day, because she really could have been smashed by the cabinet, or hit in the head by the iron.  I couldn't believe the people who installed it, didn't secure it in the wall. 

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