‘Anchor it’: Tips to protect children from furniture, TVs tipping over

As more families remain indoors, experts worry that more tip-over incidents may occur

Families are spending more time at home and that has experts worried that more kids can get hurt from furniture and TVs.

Families are spending more time at home and that has experts worried that more kids can get hurt from furniture and TVs.

A new report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said tip-over incidents have killed 451 children since 2000. Additionally, 11,000 children have been treated in emergency rooms.

“As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, don’t wait and you’re designing that nursery and you have your dresser, make sure that you buy an anchor kit at a hardware store and all it is is straps that anchor that dresser to the wall,” said mom Alissa Carlson.

Carlson shared video of her daughter for the CPSC’s latest “Anchor It” public service announcement warning about the dangers of tipping furniture and TVs.

“I was at work and our nanny had put our daughter down for a nap. About 20 minutes later, she heard a loud boom and our child crying and we discovered that our child had a dresser tipped over on her,” she said. “The video showed that our daughter had taken the drawers out of the dresser, had climbed up those drawers to get something on top of the dresser and the weight of the dresser allowed that dresser to tip over on top of her.

READ: Warnings, recalls issued over furniture tip-overs

READ: How to complete safety checks for babies at home

“Her little foot was pinned under there and she was able to get it out, fortunately for us,” Carlson said. “She escaped major injury and got off without hardly a scrape when it could have been much much worse.”

The CPSC worried that with more people staying because of COVID-19, these type of incidents may happen more often.

“People are definitely spending more time indoors. And so the risk of exposure to children to these types of incidents is definitely higher just because they’re spending more time in the house,” said Brian Walch, CPSC public affairs specialist.

Parents, grandparents and caregivers should do the following to protect children:

  • Anchor TVs, furniture like dressers and bookcases to the wall
  • Put you TV on a sturdy low base and back as far as possible if you cannot anchor it.
  • Avoid storing toys, remotes or other items in places where children might be tempted to climb up and reach for them
  • Store heavier items on bottom shelves or lower drawers

“When you do look at deaths from furniture, and/or TV tip overs, 75% of them involve TVs. And when we did a survey last year, we saw that many parents felt, or did not end up anchoring their TVs at the same rate as furniture,” Walch said.

With the upcoming Super Bowl, many homes have new TVs. The CPSC is seizing the opportunity to encourage everyone to anchor them down.

“We want to make sure that other parents are taking the precautions so this doesn’t happen to them. The guilt and shame that you feel as a parent for not protecting your child by doing something as easy as anchoring a piece of furniture. You just can’t imagine how that feels,” Carlson said.

More: Help Me Hank consumer reports

About the Author:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.