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New law aims to prevent furniture tip-over deaths

Protecting kids from furniture tip-over
New regulations take effect to prevent furniture tip-over injuries, deaths 02:52

A new law that takes effect today aims to prevent dressers and other pieces of furniture from tipping over, which can lead to injuries and even death, particularly when small children are involved. 

Furniture tip-overs caused 234 deaths from January 2000 to April 2022, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Of those who died, 199 were children. 

The "Sturdy Act" forces furniture makers to take new safety measures to ensure that clothing storage units like dressers are less likely to tip on children. The producers will now have to run additional safety tests. The items will be tested for stability, on carpeting, with loaded drawers, and by simulating the weight of children weighing up to 60 pounds climbing, pulling on and interacting with the furniture. 

However, there's an important catch: Because the Sturdy Act goes into effect today, that means products manufactured before Sept. 1, 2023, aren't covered. 

Consumers shopping for new furniture should ask if it meets the new standards. Another key way to avoid furniture tip-overs is by anchoring dressers, TV sets and other large furniture to the wall so children can't pull them down. As part of the Sturdy Act, manufacturers will have to provide an anchor kit with new furniture. 

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