Understanding the Dangers of Electronics and Appliance Tip-Overs

Unfortunately, everyday products injure adults and children each day in the United States. There was an annual average of 38,000 emergency room treated injuries from 2011 to 2013 associated with tip-overs. In addition, 430 fatalities associated with tip-overs also occurred during that time period. Of the estimated emergency-room treated injuries, 57 percent involved children under 18; 35 percent involved adults 18 to 59 years old; and 8 percent involved seniors. Among fatalities, 84 percent involved children up to 10 years old; 19 percent involved adults 28 to 59 years old; and 12 percent involved seniors.

There were a range of injuries, both fatal and non-fatal. Of the estimated emergency-room treated injuries, 15 percent were injuries to internal organs; 38 percent were contusions and abrasions; and 14 percent were lacerations. A total of 37 percent of injuries were to the head; 34 percent were to the legs, feet and toes of the victim; and 18 percent were to the arms, hands and fingers. Among fatalities, 60 percent of victims were crushed and remained under the product; 10 percent were struck by the product and 18 percent suffered positional asphyxia. Fatal injuries were 60 percent to the head; 4 percent to the head and torso; and 23 percent to the torso only.

A number of different types of products fell, causing the estimated injuries and reported deaths. Of the estimated emergency-room treated injuries, 56 percent involved furniture falling; 41 percent involved televisions (or televisions and furniture) falling; and 4 percent involved appliances falling. Of the reported fatalities, 65 percent involved televisions (or a combination of televisions and furniture) falling; 28 percent involved furniture falling; and 7 percent involved appliances falling.

Last year the CPSC approved, for implementation this year, a public education and outreach campaign to help prevent injuries and deaths resulting from furniture and television tip-overs. In addition, it is always equally important that consumers and victims of a consumer injury are educated concerning their options, resources and rights when they have been injured or otherwise harmed by a defective or dangerous consumer product.

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