Position Statement - Furniture Tip-Over Prevention

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Notes from the Backpack Podcast

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National PTA has been committed to improving the education, health and safety of all children for over 120 years. National PTA advocates for and supports, at all levels, legislation, standards and regulations to reduce death or injury to children due to furniture tip-over accidents.

Nationally, furniture tip-over incidents result in a child visiting the emergency room every thirty-seven (37) minutes, and the death of one child every eleven (11) days. The use of tip restraints or furniture anchors is an effective way to prevent these tip-overs, however, only 27% of Americans anchor their furniture.

Federal legislation known as the STURDY Act, was introduced in the United States House and Senate which would require new mandatory safety standards versus existing voluntary weak standards for all free-standing clothing storage units. Furthermore, this act mandates testing that more closely simulates real world use including to account for impact on clothing storage unit stability of carpeting, drawers with items in them, multiple open drawers, dynamic force and use by children up to 72 months of age and/or reach 60lbs.

In August of 2019, New York State passed laws prohibiting the sale of new clothing furniture units that don’t meet the voluntary standard and requiring all heavy furniture and televisions to be anchored in public spaces for children, child daycare centers, similar facilities and any agency boarding home or group home.

National PTA applauds the passage of the STURDY Act in the US House of Representatives and strongly urges the US Senate to follow suit. Furthermore, National PTA shall advocate for legislation that: 1) requires the sale of anchoring kits with new furniture units 2) requires the anchoring of furniture and televisions in public spaces, such as but not limited to child daycare centers and similar facilities 3) prohibits the sale of furniture that does not meet anti-tip safety standards.

National PTA promotes educating families and the community about the dangers of unanchored furniture in their homes and public spaces and encourage the use of tip restraints or furniture anchors. National PTA encourages the education of parents on the issue of tip over furniture and to advocate for changes to the furniture safety standards nationwide.

Adopted by the 2020 National PTA Board of Directors