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Joint letter to U.S. House in support of H.R. 2211, the STURDY Act

*American Academy of Pediatrics * Consumer Federation of America * Consumer Reports * Kids In Danger * Parents Against Tip-Overs * Public Citizen *

The undersigned consumer, parent, and medical organizations urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 2211, The Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act to combat the continuing deaths and injuries from furniture tip-overs.

A tip-over can involve a piece of furniture, often a dresser or other type of clothing storage unit, falling onto a small child. These dangerous episodes can lead to a severe injury requiring emergency room treatment, or even death. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a child is sent to the emergency room because of falling furniture every 30 minutes, and one child dies every ten days.

American Academy of Pediatrics, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Reports, Kids In Danger, Parents Against Tip-overs, and Public Citizen have been working together to end the hazard posed by unstable furniture. Our organizations support a strong mandatory standard and are working to strengthen the voluntary standard for furniture stability as well.

The current voluntary standard has not done enough to reduce tip-overs. It applies only to dressers over 30 inches tall, even though children have been killed by shorter dressers. It also is tested to only a 50-pound load, which does not adequately address the weight of a five-year-old. In addition, the current tests do not account for the real-world situations that may contribute to tipping – such as carpeting, whether drawers are full, and the dynamic force of a child climbing onto furniture. Most importantly, manufacturers can choose to not meet this voluntary standard, even as weak as it is.

The STURDY Act would require the CPSC to create a mandatory rule for free-standing clothing storage units to protect children from tip-over incidents. The rule would:

  • Cover all clothing storage units, even those under 30 inches;
  • Require testing to simulate the weights of children up to 72 months old;
  • Require testing measures to account for scenarios involving carpeting, loaded drawers, and the dynamic force of a climbing child;
  • Mandate strong warning requirements; and
  • Require the CPSC to issue the mandatory standard within one year of enactment.

We strongly urge you to co-sponsor the STURDY Act to help prevent any more children from dying or becoming injured from furniture tip-overs.

For the full letter, click here.