WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) furniture and TV tip-over campaign, Anchor It!, debuted a new public service announcement (PSA), highlighting the hidden risks of injury or death to children from tip-over incidents. The “Even When You’re Watching” PSA contains real, terrifying footage of tip-overs caught on video monitors, and in one case, an incident filmed by a mother carefully watching her toddlers. Despite being within arm’s reach, however, she still couldn’t stop the dresser from tipping over.
This PSA, available in English and Spanish, illustrates how quickly a tip-over tragedy can occur, even when parents are nearby while children nap or watch TV. With more families staying at home due to COVID-19 restrictions, there is an increased risk of tip-over incidents.
According to CPSC’s most recent report, in the United States, 459 children died from tip-over incidents between 2000 and 2018. Available data from the period 2016 through 2018 show that about every 43 minutes, a child is injured from a TV or furniture tipping over.
“Even when adults are in the same room with children, dangerous tip-overs can occur,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler. “Many parents and caregivers do not know about this hidden hazard, or believe that they can prevent a tip-over by watching their children, but these incidents still happen. We urge adults to Anchor It! and to tell their friends and family to do so, too, because these tragic tip-overs can happen in the blink of an eye.”
Anchor It!’s latest PSA is based on a key finding in CPSC’s newly released survey on attitudes and behaviors about furniture and TV anchoring among parents and caregivers; namely, that many who did not anchor based their decision on a belief that it is not necessary, as long as they were watching the kids.
The survey also finds that most consumer respondents -- 80 percent -- are aware that unanchored furniture can tip over, and 82 percent are aware that tip-overs can lead to injuries and deaths. Awareness does not always turn into action, however. Of those surveyed, 47 percent say they have ever anchored a television in their home while 55 percent have ever anchored their furniture. Parents are more likely to anchor than caregivers. Another top reason individuals did not anchor furniture and TVs was the belief that it is simply not needed.
CPSC continues to work to improve awareness that tip-overs can be prevented. The new PSA is part of CPSC’s broad outreach to consumers and is intended to show that the risk is real, and that vigilance and anchoring are essential practices.
To protect children from a tip-over incident, follow these safety tips in any home where children live or visit:
Anchor TVs and furniture, such as bookcases and dressers, securely to the wall.
Always place TVs on a sturdy, low base, and push the TV back as far as possible, particularly if anchoring is not possible.
Avoid displaying or storing items, such as toys and remotes, in places where kids might be tempted to climb up to reach for them.
Store heavier items on lower shelves, or in lower drawers.
If purchasing a new TV, consider recycling older ones not currently in use. If moving the older TV to another room, be sure it is anchored to the wall properly.
Keep TV and/or cable cords out of reach of children.
Supervise children in rooms where these safety tips have not been undertaken.
Media can download the new PSA video here.
About Anchor It!
CPSC launched the Anchor It! campaign in 2015, to help educate parents and caregivers about the dangers of falling TVs and furniture. Anchor It! is aimed at consumers and manufacturers of furniture and TVs. With rates of injury, and even fatalities, higher than most people could imagine, Anchor It! is raising awareness, and providing simple and inexpensive steps to help prevent tip-over incidents.
More and more companies are providing anchors with their products, and most home improvement stores and websites carry affordable anchoring kits. Anchor It! provides how-to guides and spreads the message of what can happen if furniture and TVs are not properly secured. The campaign collaborates with families who have experienced a tragic tip-over incident, to share with other parents and caregivers of young children.
To learn more about Anchor It! please visit: www.anchorit.gov.