Many parents engage in careful planning to child-proof their home and protect their son or daughter from the many hazards a young child or toddler might find. For instance, parents may lock cabinets to prevent young ones from being trapped inside or being injured by the products inside. Parents may also cover electrical outlets, and block off stairways and other dangerous areas. However, one particular risk for kids and toddlers that has received less attention until fairly recently is that of furniture tip over accidents.
While furniture tip over accidents can be protected against by using furniture anchors and taking other steps, no preventative measure is foolproof. Furthermore, while progress has been made educating new parents about this risk, many are still unaware that their furniture can pose a risk and potentially cause a furniture tip over tragedy.
We hope that you never have to face a situation where your child is severely injured or killed by a piece of defective furniture. However, if tragedy has already struck, your child has suffered severe injuries, and you are seeking a way to pay for his or her medical expenses while holding the manufacturer accountable contact the personal injury lawyers of Reiff & Bily today. We can fight to obtain compensation for you and further increase awareness of this issue so that future accidents can be prevented.
How Do Furniture Tip Over Accidents Occur?
Furniture tip over accidents can occur in an array of ways. In fact, even adults are subject to the risk. However, accidents are most common with children under the age of 18. Furthermore, the consequences of the injury are most severe when a child is involved in a tip over accident. In fact, according to a 2014 report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 57% of all tip over accidents happen to children under the age of 18. Furthermore, 84% of all fatal furniture tip overs happen to children. Children aged 1 year to 9 years are particularly at risk for this type of injury.
According to CPSC statistics, there were approximately 38,000 serious tip over accidents requiring medical treatment at an emergency room from 2011 to 2013. 430 deaths occurred due to tip over accidents during the same period. A January 2015 CPSC report titled TVs – Tipping The Scale To Safety found that 41% of tip over ER visits were caused by falling televisions. 65% of the reported fatalities were attributable to TVs.
Some parents may believe that the shift away from old CRT tube-style televisions means that this risk will disappear in the coming years. Unfortunately this assumption is not accurate. CPSC found that even the thin, light flat screen models can cause severe injury or even death. Furthermore, as families relocate their older model television sets, these units may end up on pieces of furniture that are insufficient to bear the CRT monitor’s size and weight. This can result in an increased risk of stability issues with both the dresser or table and the television set.
Another main risk is furniture that presents an enticing climbing opportunity for young children. Furnitture with multiple pull-out drawers is particularly risky. This is because the drawers not only provide the child with foothold for climbing, but pulling outthe drawers also shifts the weight and center of gravity for the unit. A dresser with all drawers pulled out is rather susceptible to tipping – and especially so when a child attempts to use the drawers to climb and adds his or her weight to an already unbalanced piece of furniture.
Chest and Dresser Recall Programs Provides Wall Anchors to Mitigate Tip Over Risk
Unfortunately, due to the deaths that have already occurred, some manufactures of furniture have already initiated recall programs. Light, easy to assemble dressers and chests are particularly likely to cause this problem. One popular furniture maker is offering owners of its children’s chests and dressers taller than 23 ½ inches, and adult chests and dressers taller than 29 ½ inches free wall anchoring kits to protect against tip overs. By anchoring the furniture to the wall, a significant number of accidents involving the furniture itself can be prevented. Likewise, a more stable base reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk the items on top of the dresser will topple due to instability.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer if Your Child was Injured by a Falling Piece of Furniture
If your child has suffered a severe injury due to a chest, dresser or other piece of furniture tip over the experienced personal injury and wrongful death lawyers of Reiff & Bily can fight to hold the manufacture accountable. We work to provide the compensation you need to provide medical treatment for your son or daughter. To schedule a free and confidential legal consultation call us at (215) 274-0072 or contact us online today.