Since 2000, More Than 460 Children Have Died from Tip-Overs
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act. The bipartisan, bicameral bill would change the stability standard for manufacturers of clothing storage units from voluntary to mandatory—requiring companies to ensure their products are tested for safety and stability before being sold. According to a recent report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), tip-overs cause an average of 25,500 emergency room-treated injuries each year as children are crushed, trapped or struck by furniture, TVs and appliances. U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09) introduced the House companion to the bill.
“Inadequate safety standards and testing for furniture tip-overs puts our Nation’s children in danger of serious injury or even death,” said Senator Casey. “This bill would help protect kids by directing the CPSC to establish a stronger, mandatory stability standard to prevent kids from being injured or killed by tip-overs of chests, dressers and bureaus. Congress must quickly to pass this legislation to help stop the hundreds of preventable injuries and even deaths each year from falling furniture.”
“No family should live in fear that their child could be severely injured or even killed by a preventable accident,” said Senator Klobuchar. “Companies must take steps to stabilize their furniture, and the STURDY Act will implement stronger standards across the board to help protect more children from the risks of furniture tip-overs.”
“As kids spend more time at home due to the pandemic, unanchored or top-heavy furniture poses a greater than ever risk. The STURDY Act would enact strong furniture stability standards to prevent deadly tip-overs and protect children. The furniture industry has been allowed to self-regulate for too long – and with tragic consequences, as a child is injured by tipped furniture every 17 minutes. As Chair of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure this bill passes Congress so that no more families are forced to grieve the preventable death of their child,” said Senator Blumenthal.
“As parents juggle supervising their children while working from home during the ongoing pandemic, families deserve peace of mind that their furniture is safe. Sadly, current voluntary furniture stability standards are inadequate, and unstable furniture continues to be a top hidden household hazard. Every 46 minutes, a child is injured in a tip-over incident. Between 2000 and 2019, tip-over incidents have been linked to more than 460 child fatalities. I'm proud to be reintroducing the STURDY Act with Senator Casey to protect children from these preventable dangers and spare families from these painful situations resulting simply from a piece of furniture,” said Congresswoman Schakowsky.
“Every Senator should support the STURDY Act because it’s a straightforward, data-driven, and necessary bill that would save children’s lives. Passing this legislation is the single fastest and most effective way to get strong safety rules in place to prevent furniture tip-over tragedies. Hundreds of children have already died from tip-over incidents; not one more family should suffer the preventable loss of a child from this long-known hidden hazard,” said Gabe Knight, Policy Analyst with Consumer Reports.
“Consumers expect that furniture in their home is stable and will not harm them or their children. Unfortunately, too many unstable dressers have posed serious risks to children. The STURDY Act is so important because it requires a strong mandatory rule to ensure the stability of our furniture,” said Rachel Weintraub, Legislative Director and General Counsel of Consumer Federation of America. “The STURDY Act will prevent tragedies and save lives.”
“The STURDY Act will save lives by assuring that new dressers will be stable,” said Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids In Danger (KID). “This legislation is crucial to stop the continuing heartbreak of tip-over deaths. We urge Congress to quickly pass the STURDY Act.”
“Passing the STURDY Act is imperative to the safety of young children across the nation. Despite more than 16 years of educating parents and caregivers about the dangers of furniture tip-over and the importance of anchoring furniture, only about 1/4 of Americans actually anchor their furniture. A voluntary standards process for furniture safety that is now 20 years old has not changed the fact that an average of 11 children are rushed to the ER every day when a dresser/clothing storage unit falls on them. The STURDY Act would greatly reduce these statistics and save lives,” said Kimberly Amato, Founding Member of Parents Against Tip-overs, Mom to Meghan.
“Senators Casey, Klobuchar, Blumenthal and Congresswoman Schakowsky understand the importance of robust product safety rules that protect our families from potential injury and death. We hope that Congress will quickly pass the STURDY Act,” said Remington A. Gregg, counsel for civil justice and consumer rights at Public Citizen.
Product instability that can lead to a tip-over incident can be caused or affected by an unstable dresser design such as small base and top heavy, use on a sloped or unstable surface such as carpet, not using a restraint device or using a defective tip-over restraint device, heavy objects placed on top of a dresser such as a TV, or multiple dresser drawers open simultaneously. The bill also requires rigorous testing measures for furniture and to simulate real-world use and provides warning requirements based on the most up-to-date safety standards.
The STURDY Act is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Edward Markey (D-MA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Chris Coons (D-DE).
Read more about the STURDY Act here.