Millions of wall-anchoring kits designed to prevent dresser tip-overs have been recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) because a defective part may render them ineffective.

On January 11, 2024, the CPSC recalled the kits, made by New Age Industries, because a plastic zip tie “can become brittle or break,” which can allow a dresser that is supposed to be anchored to the wall to detach during a tip-over event, posing a potentially fatal risk to children.

The New Age furniture tip restraint kits were sold and distributed by various furniture companies nationwide and online beginning in November 2019. The kits include the plastic zip-tie, two brackets, and two screws, and were sold with dressers manufactured in Vietnam. The packaging of the recalled kits is white with black lettering and includes directions on how to anchor furniture. The bottom of the packaging states “Manufactured by New Age Industries.”

Furniture brands impacted by the recall are:

  • American Drew
  • American Woodcrafters
  • Amini Innovation Corporation
  • Ashley Furniture Industries, LLC
  • Aspenhome
  • Austin Group Furniture, LLC
  • Avalon International Inc., LLC
  • Bassett Furniture Industries, Inc.
  • Drew and Jonathan by Hooker Furnishings
  • Emery Park
  • FD Home Corp.
  • Flexsteel Industries, Inc.
  • Furniture Values International, LLC
  • Homelegance USA, LLC
  • Hooker Furnishings
  • Kincaid Furniture
  • LC Direct Furniture
  • Legacy Classic/Modern Furniture
  • Liberty Furniture Industries, Inc.
  • Magnussen Home Furnishings, Inc.
  • New Classic Home Furnishings, Inc.
  • Parker House Furniture
  • Progressive Furniture
  • Pulaski Furniture
  • Riverside Furniture
  • Samuel Lawrence
  • Springhill Designs
  • Standard Furniture Manufacturing Co., LLC
  • Universal Furniture
  • Van Thiel & Co.
  • Vanguard Furniture Company

The CPSC is instructing owners of dressers manufactured by these companies to immediately check if the back of the unit has a date of manufacture sticker or stamp of November 2019 or later. If so, and if the wall-anchoring kit is made of plastic, they should contact Alliance4Safety for a free replacement kit. Children should be kept away from the dresser until the replacement kit is installed.

How Many Children Are Injured by Dresser Tip-Overs?

From January 2000 through April 2022 there were 234 reported fatalities from dressers tipping over, including 199 child fatalities, according to the CPSC. The CPSC estimates that there were 84,100 dresser tip-over-related injuries (an estimated annual average of 5,300 injuries) treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments from 2006 through 2021. Of these, an estimated 72 percent were injuries to children.

Unstable dressers are particularly risky for curious toddlers, as they may open multiple dresser drawers or attempt to climb or sit in a drawer. Unfortunately, young children do not have the strength to prevent a dresser from falling or to lift a dresser that has tipped over onto them. Making an already dangerous situation worse, tip-over accidents often occur when parents think their child is safely asleep in bed, and parents may not hear the dresser fall because the child’s body and carpet often cushion the impact. And for every tip-over that causes injury, there are hundreds of “near misses” where a toddler manages to get out of the way, or a nearby adult catches the dresser, or it falls onto a bed or other nearby object.

Doesn’t the STURDY Act Prevent Dresser Tip-Overs?

The STURDY Act (Stop Tip-Overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth Act) went into effect on September 1, 2023, and requires that all dressers manufactured and sold in the United States after that date adhere to strict safety rules. Previously, the stability of dressers was governed by nothing more than a voluntary standard created primarily by the furniture industry itself.

However, the STURDY Act is not retroactive, and an untold number of unsafe and unstable dressers remain in use in people’s homes. Properly anchoring these dressers to a wall is critical to preventing tip-over injuries and deaths.

What Should I Do If My Child Has Been Injured by a Dresser Tip-Over?

Feldman Shepherd co-founding partner and product liability attorney Alan M. Feldman said that even prior to the STURDY Act, product liability law in most states has required that products be safe for their intended as well as expected use. “Manufacturers bear legal liability when children are injured by dressers that are unstable and unsafe for the normal way that children are expected to interact with them, which includes attempting to climb their dresser or pulling out all the drawers,” Feldman said. “The restraint kits that parents place their trust in to ensure that the dresser in their child’s bedroom will not tip over must be manufactured with durable and dependable materials,” Feldman added. He recommends contacting a product liability attorney as soon as possible if your child has been injured by a dresser tip-over.

Feldman, along with partners Daniel J. Mann and Edward S. Goldis, has recovered nearly $100 million on behalf of four families whose toddlers died from IKEA dresser tip-overs. In another dresser tip-over case, the team recovered what is believed to be the largest recovery for the death of a child in New York.