Schakowsky Applauds Passage of Her Legislation to Protect Children From Furniture Tip-Overs
WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee, applauded the House passage of her bill, H.R. 1314, the Stop Tip-Overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act of 2021. Tipping furniture presents a serious risk of injury and death to children. Furniture or items on top of furniture such as TVs can fall onto a child, causing the child to be crushed, trapped, or struck by falling objects.
“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 forty-six 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 applaud the U.S. House passage today of the STURDY Act to protect children from these preventable dangers and spare families from these painful situations resulting simply from a piece of furniture,” said Congresswoman Schakowsky. “I look forward to working with Senator Casey to see this vital legislation move forward in the U.S. Senate.”
Clothing storage units, including chests, bureaus, and dressers, are a major category of furniture at risk for tipping over. Opening drawers or doors can cause top-heavy units to tip. In addition, young children frequently climb on these furniture units unsupervised, increasing the risk of an accident. There have been several toddler deaths linked to falling dressers, as recent as February when a 1-year old died in Atlanta.
This legislation is supported by several consumer groups, including Parents Against Tip-Overs, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Public Citizen, Kids In Danger, the Consumer Federation of America, and Consumer Reports.
The STURDY Act directs the Consumer Product Safety Commission to adopt a stronger, mandatory stability standard for clothing storage units within one year of enactment, following the streamlined rulemaking process that it has used for numerous children’s products. This standard may be based on a voluntary standard such as ASTM’s but must include specific additional criteria to ensure children’s safety, including; an increased weight limit to simulate children up to six years old, testing under real world conditions such as climbing, carpeted floors, and open drawers, inclusion of smaller clothing storage units; and strengthened warning requirements.