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Falling Furniture Is an Increasing Hazard for Children

Last Updated: May 04, 2009.

Because tipped-over furniture accounts for an increasing number of injuries among children, pediatricians and caregivers need to be aware of such hazards and acquaint themselves with prevention strategies, according to a study published online May 3 in Clinical Pediatrics.

MONDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Because tipped-over furniture accounts for an increasing number of injuries among children, pediatricians and caregivers need to be aware of such hazards and acquaint themselves with prevention strategies, according to a study published online May 3 in Clinical Pediatrics.

Bethany L. Gottesman, of Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues analyzed 1990 to 2007 data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System on children aged 17 years and under who received emergency-department treatment for a furniture tip-over injury.

The researchers identified about 264,200 injuries, and calculated an annual rate of 20.7 per 100,000 children. They found that the rate and number of injuries steadily increased during the 18-year study period, partly because of the increasing size of televisions, which accounted for nearly half (47.4 percent) of injuries. Among children aged 9 years and younger, they also found that 42.2 percent of injuries were to the head and neck.

"Many of these injuries could be prevented by securing large furniture to its stable stand and/or the wall, and not encouraging children to climb on furniture by removing attractive items placed on furniture above their reach," the authors conclude. "The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission should work with the American Society for Testing and Materials International and furniture manufacturers to require applicable furniture to be sold with anchoring devices."

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