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.