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Protect against tip-over accidents

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), U.S. hospital emergency departments treated an estimated annual average of 19,400 people for product instability or tip-over injuries from 2019 through 2021. Additionally, the CPSC reported a total of 28 product instability or tip-over fatalities between 2019 and 2021.  

Tip-over incidents refer to common accidents when a piece of furniture, television, or appliance becomes unstable due to being bumped into or climbed on. This instability may cause the product to tip and fall, resulting in an injury or fatality if a person is struck. 

These accidents have been in the media spotlight over the last decade, particularly when large-scale recalls occur. For example, IKEA has recalled millions of chests and dressers since 2016 in response to tip-over and entrapment accidents, resulting in at least eight child fatalities.  

However, the problems with tipping furniture are not limited to any specific manufacturer or brand and need to be addressed in any home where children are present, including in-home and commercial child care centers. 

Over the years, several tip-over-related claims have involved serious injuries and death in child care centers. Despite the close supervision of children, it’s difficult to react in time to tipping furniture when a young child decides to climb the front of the furniture to reach for something. One solution to reduce the potential for these tragic accidents is to improve control over the exposures. The Consumer Product Safety Commission offers the following advice:

Steps to help prevent tip-over accidents

  • Use sturdy furniture

    - Televisions should only be placed on furniture designed to hold a television, such as television stands or media centers.

  • Secure your TV

    - Televisions that are not wall mounted should still be anchored to the wall.

  • Mount flat-screen TVs

    - Mount flat-screen TVs to the wall or furniture to prevent them from toppling over.

  • Follow instructions

    - Follow the manufacturer's instructions to secure TVs and furniture properly.

  • Low and stable CRT TV

    - CRT televisions should only be placed on furniture designed to hold a television, and should be anchored to the wall or the TV stand.

  • Secure top-heavy furniture

    - Existing furniture can be anchored with inexpensive anti-tip brackets. New furniture, such as dressers, are sold with anti-tip devices. Install them right away. 

  • Remove tempting objects

    - Remove items that might tempt kids to climb, such as toys and remote controls, from the top of the TV and furniture.


IKEA. (2017). IKEA reannounces recall of MALM and other chests and dressers due to serious tip-over hazard.

Suchy, A. (2023). Product instability or tip-over injuries and fatalities associated with televisions, furniture, and appliances: 2022 report. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. (n.d.).