Furniture and TV Tip-overs

Most parents do not think of furniture and TVs as dangerous. However, when these items tip-over, serious injury can and does occur. When children play in the house, they often use dressers and shelves as climbing toys, leading to tip-overs. Additionally, with large TVs becoming more and more popular, the risk of serious injury from a TV falling increases.

Furniture Tip-over Facts

  • In 2019, 11,521 children visited the emergency department for injuries from furniture or TV tip-overs. That’s one child every 46 minutes. 
  • Furniture and TV tip-overs cause the most injuries for children younger than 6 years of age, with a peak at 2 years old. Young children are most likely to suffer concussion and closed head injuries.
  • Desks, cabinets and bookshelves tipping over lead to the greatest number of injuries to children ages 10-17 years. These older children usually suffer lower body injuries.

What Causes Tip-overs?

  • Most injuries occur when unsecured furniture falls or tips-over.
  • Many times a child pulls the furniture onto themselves.
  • Other causes include children climbing the furniture or pushing it over on another child.

Who is at Risk?

  • Most injuries occur to children younger than 7 years of age.
  • Young children are not able to think about the danger of their actions. They are often not fast enough to avoid a falling piece of furniture, or strong enough to lift the furniture off of themselves if they are trapped.

Prevention Tips

  • Secure furniture like shelves, desks, and dressers to a wall
    • Purchase furniture with wide legs or solid bases.
    • Install drawer stops on all drawers to prevent them from being pulled out more than two-thirds of the way.
    • Place heavy items close to the floor on shelves.
    • Strap furniture to the wall with safety straps or L-brackets.
    • Avoid putting attractive items, such as toys or the remote, on top of furniture. If your child can see it, she’ll try to get it.
  • Secure flat screen TVs and be careful using older TVs
    • If you have an older TV – one of those heavy, bulky ones without a flat back – consider recycling it.
    • Wall mount flat screen TVs whenever possible.
    • Do not use shelves or dressers as TV stands. These are not made to support the weight of a TV. When purchasing a TV stand, check the size and weight limits.  
    • If you’re using a TV stand, make sure to use a stand designed to be used as a TV stand. Pick one that is the right size to hold the size and type of TV you have. Secure both the TV and its stand to the wall using safety straps or L-brackets.
    • Tuck cords away so they can’t be pulled on or become a tripping hazard.
  • Safety straps are available that do not require drilling holes in furniture and can secure items up to 100 lbs.

Additional Furniture Tip-overs Resources