CHICAGO –(ENEWSPF)–August 11, 2016. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky participated in an event highlighting a new report by Kids In Danger (KID) and Shane’s Foundation that analyzes injury statistics and presents independent testing results for furniture tip-overs, revealing significant risks to children from dressers and chests in the home and dangerous inadequacies in current safety standards and testing. KID’s testing illustrates the instability of furniture commonly found in children’s rooms and offers recommendations to improve furniture stability.
KID analyzed incident data on tip-overs involving dressers and chests from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and commissioned laboratory testing of furniture marketed for children’s rooms. A child dies from tipping furniture, appliances or TV’s every two weeks. The data show that a child’s own bedroom is the most likely location for a tip-over incident.
“Parents should have peace of mind that furniture in their home is safe, but today’s voluntary safety standards are insufficient, putting children at risk,” commented U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky. “We need stronger rules and better compliance to prevent tragic accidents from furniture tip-overs. The furniture industry must act to improve safety, and the CPSC and Congress must hold the industry accountable.”
Findings of the data analysis include:
- Two-year-olds are the age group most affected by tip-overs, especially fatal incidents.
- Children age 2 to 5 accounted for 77% of total incidents.
- The age range of incidents is wider in the injury category than in the fatality category.
- Fatalities accounted for 12% of total incidents.
- Head injuries (37%) were the most common category of injury.
- Almost all (98.7%) of head injuries are related to a television tipping over on a child.
In addition to data review, KID put a sample of 19 dressers and chests through stability performance tests. Testing was conducted at the UL Furniture Center for Excellence in Holland, Michigan. UL laboratory technicians followed a new testing protocol developed by KID.
The tests, which constitute a preliminary look at a slice of the market for children’s furniture, included tests based on current voluntary industry standards. They also encompass additional tests designed to be more representative of real world scenarios, including foreseeable use of furniture by children and the stability of dressers that contain clothing.
The results heighten concerns already underscored by recent product recalls affecting millions of units of furniture. They point to widespread non-compliance with current voluntary standards as well as to additional dangers those standards do not address.
Test results include:
- Only nine of the 19 units passed the performance tests based on the voluntary ASTM F2057, which tests for stability when a child climbs on empty chests and dressers.
- Only two units passed all tests, including the additional testing scenarios developed by KID.
- The report finds that a TV on top may not negatively affect stability, but does act to increase the likelihood of serious injury or death when it falls.
- Testing on carpeting, often found in children’s bedrooms, decreased the stability of furniture.
Many units could withstand over 70 pounds of weight on an open drawer without tipping, while others tipped under less than half the weight of the current voluntary standard.
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