While childproofing a home is common, that level of protection may not take into consideration the stability of furniture. The incidents of death affect a child every two weeks. In 2016, 2,800 children were injured in a fall-over accident, which represented a 33% increase compared to 2015. Those numbers continue to climb, even as efforts in other areas of consumer safety have dramatically improved over the last decade.
The danger of serious injury and death to children from falling children is a hidden danger, not as widely recognized and reported as it should be. Personal injury accidents may involve safety issues that were unreported and unresolved by the manufacturer, so you should be aware of what your potential recourse is. Consult with a personal injury attorney to learn more.
What Happens When Furniture Falls Over?
Accidents involving falling furniture happen at least once every 17 minutes. It could involve a TV falling off its stand, a bookshelf falling over, a dresser tipping over, or other dangerous falling objects. Many of these home accidents are preventable with increased awareness, greater attention to product safety, and incorporating more comprehensive safety measures into the home environment.
Accidents can happen in a variety of ways, but the most typical scenario is when a child tries to climb up on the furniture to get to something just out of reach. So, really, curiosity is the most common reason for injury and death for children. Parents are often unaware that the TV could fall over and injure or kill a child. So, they’re unprepared for how to best protect their children.
Who Is Most at Risk from Furniture Falling Over?
Children under the age of 5 are at the highest risk of the dangers of falling furniture. These types of accidents account for a majority of the reported non-fatal accidents, including breathing issues involving choking, strangulation, and suffocation. IKEA recalled 29 million chests and dressers in 2016 after 6 children were killed from falling furniture accidents, but that recall was voluntary based on their own willingness to ensure the safety and protection of children.
No matter how much attention you pay toward ensuring the rest of the house is child-proof, leaving your large furniture with no safety consideration still means your children are unprotected. It could also be that you’ve considered the dangers of falling furniture in your own home, but that still means you don’t have control over what could happen when your child is visiting another home or daycare facility. Without the level of clear oversight and widespread consumer protection, accidents will continue to happen.
Why Is It Important to Understand the Causes of Furniture Tipping Over?
It’s important to understand how these accidents happen to children to ensure more comprehensive safety measures in the future. Since safety testing is largely voluntary for manufacturers, there’s no real accountability for ensuring that furniture, large electronics, and other potentially dangerous objects are safe and secure. With greater awareness, manufacturers could be forced to test and ensure the safety of the furniture.
Parents would also be more aware of the potential dangers and could demand greater oversight, accountability, and safety standards. That awareness and pursuit of safety can and will save lives, but you should also be aware of what recourse you have if an accident does occur with your children and what you can do to seek justice and remuneration. Even though furniture tipping over is never something you’d want to see happen, you can take action to make sure it doesn’t happen to other kids and their families.
Is There Any Protection Against Falling Furniture?
There have already been efforts to ensure greater protection from furniture falling over. One of the measures includes a push to pass the Stop Tip-Overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act, which would create mandatory federal standards for dressers. Some of the momentous progress on these measures has been stalled by the pandemic, but there’s still significant support for legislating consumer protection for children in ways that would require rigorous safety testing.
There’s still more that you can do with a lawyer’s help to protect your children and prevent future injuries and death from furniture falling over. It shouldn’t be up to a furniture maker to determine whether it’s safe for a child. There have already been too many injuries and deaths. While many have thought the issue would be solved long ago, this is still an issue that requires oversight, awareness, and action.
Next Step: Schedule a Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney
When your child gets injured, you need a resource that you can count on to get help for you, your family, and other families like yours. You not only deserve help with determining the cause of the accident, but what you can do to hold the manufacturer responsible, and how you can prevent it from happening to other kids. When you have questions about how to proceed and what your legal options are, reach out for legal representation.
Falling furniture should not be a danger for your child or any other parent’s child. Fortunately, you can do something about it. You can actively pursue ways that will ensure that no other child will experience the same injury. It’s all about working to protect and ensure the health and safety of other kids who would otherwise be injured or killed. When your child is injured, you need to take action.