Law Protecting Children From Tip Over Deaths Signed By Cuomo

New Law Inspired by Incidents in Upstate New York Where Children Were Killed by Falling Furniture, Television

Just in time for the holiday season, legislation protecting children from tip over incidents involving heavy pieces of falling furniture or televisions has been signed into law.  The measure sponsored by Bronx Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and upstate State Senator Patty Ritchie was inspired by incidents—one of which occurred in Ogdensburg, the other in Syracuse—where two children were killed by a falling dresser and a falling cabinet and television, respectively.



Under the new law, the state’s Consumer Protection Division will be required to develop a public awareness campaign about the danger, and the need to anchor to floors or walls heavy furniture that could fall or be pulled down by a child. According to recent statistics, every two weeks a child in the United States dies as a result of tip over incidents and, every 24 minutes a child is admitted to the emergency room due to furniture or television that has fallen on them.


Alluding to tragic incidents where children are hurt or killed by a piece of falling furniture or a heavy television, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz noted, “By requiring the state to create a public awareness campaign focused on tip over deaths, we’re increasing the likelihood that parents will take the necessary steps to prevent any future tragedies caused by toppling furniture or televisions.”


According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, at least 430 deaths were attributed to tip-over incidents from 2000 to 2013, with 84 percent involving children under the age of nine. In addition, according to a new report in the Journal of Neurosurgery Pediatrics, an increase in television sales has resulted in an uptick in head injuries due to their tipping over.  Between 2006 and 2008 there were 16,500 injuries and between 2008 and 2010 there were 19,200.


To prevent injuries caused by tip over incidents the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends taking the following steps:


  • Make sure your furniture is sturdy and don’t place televisions or large items on top of anything that can’t handle heavy weights;
  • Utilize mounts for flat screen televisions to eliminate the risk of it tipping over;
  • If furniture comes with anti-tip devices, don’t forget to install them;
  • Add anti-tip equipment to older pieces of furniture or televisions;
  • Don’t place toys or other items that might attract children on top of televisions or heavy pieces of furniture; and
  • Set up restricted play areas for children that do not have any potential tip-over hazards
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