WASHINGTON - The U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass a bill that would force the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to set up standards that prevent furniture tip-overs.
“Every hour, of every day, approximately 3 children are getting injured – over 25,400 per year. Between 2000 and 2011, these tip-overs have resulted in at least 363 fatalities, with most of the innocent victims being less than 8 years old,” said Illinois representative Jan Schakowsky, who introduced the bill. “I’m proud that the House has passed the STURDY Act today, so that we can protect children from these preventable accidents and spare their families these painful situations, resulting simply from a piece of furniture.”
The Stop Tip-Overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (or the STURDY Act of 2019) particularly targets chests, bureaus, and dressers, which Schakowsky says are most likely to tip over onto children.
"Young children frequently climb on these furniture units unsupervised, increasing the risk of an accident," the congresswoman's office wrote in a news release. "There have been several toddler deaths linked to falling dressers, as recent as an incident in February 2016 and another in May 2017."
"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."
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