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house Bill H.R. 2211

Should the Consumer Product Safety Commission Adopt a Stability Standard to Prevent Dressers From Tipping Over On Children?

Argument in favor

Furniture tip-overs can seriously injure or even kill young children. These tragedies could be prevented with better stability standards requiring furniture manufacturers to design and test for stability that would be imposed by this bill.

Jeffrey 's Opinion
···
09/16/2019
I am more concerned about guns killing children; abusers killing children; anti-vaxers killing children; US drones killing Yemeni children, but if this legislation can save one precious life of a child then I am all for it, 100%!
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Carmine's Opinion
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09/16/2019
Furniture tip-overs can seriously injure or even kill young children. These tragedies could be prevented with better stability standards requiring furniture manufacturers to design and test for stability that would be imposed by this bill. 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. I’m introducing the STURDY Act to help protect children from these preventable accidents and spare their families these painful situations, resulting simply from a piece of furniture
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Brian's Opinion
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09/16/2019
Sure. Isn't there already a standard for ovens/ranges? I think this seems like a good safety measure to take, even though it might be harder for parents to implement. We must protect our children when possible.
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Argument opposed

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is already working on new stability standards, so this bill is unnecessary. Additionally, some of the provisions in this bill — such as testing on “standard” carpeting — aren’t possible because such definitions don’t exist.

jimK's Opinion
···
09/16/2019
I thought the agency’s mandate would cover this and any other child endangering product design. Why does this require legislation? Let's fix the problem of letting any administration arbitrarily appointing any unqualified or inappropriate agency head in charge of government agencies whose mission is to protect the public. That includes both permanent and temporary appointments. Most of trump's appointments or temporarily placed agency heads are either totally incompetent or are actively dismantling the very mission of the agencies they are appointed to head. Legislation to provide meaningful oversight of the permanent or temporarily appointed agency chiefs would require much less detailed legislation regarding minute details regarding the public services these agencies provide.
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burrkitty's Opinion
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09/16/2019
How about gun control laws? Firearms are the second leading cause of death among American children and adolescents, after car crashes. Firearm deaths occur at a rate more than three times higher than drownings. Tipping over furniture doesn’t even make the top ten. What’s more, the United States has had 1,316 school shootings since 1970. The numbers of these tragic events have been increasing, with 18% of the total occurring in the past seven years since the Newtown school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In the United States, middle- and high school-age children are now more likely to die as the result of a firearm injury than from any other single cause of death. The United States stands out among high-income countries: Over 90% of all the firearm deaths among children and adolescents that occur in industrialized nations occur in the USA. Furthermore, Ameica has more privately owned firearms – not including military firearms – than we have citizens. If you want to claim that you care about the safety of children, how about addressing the dangers they actually face in the real world?
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NoHedges's Opinion
···
09/16/2019
At least there are more details and a better rationale than for the nefarious crib bumpers and the deadly inclined sleepers... Even so, I think the bigger threat AND THE LEGISLATIVE ELEPHANT 🐘 are the actual assault rifles killing kids while causing normally rational grandparents -like myself 🙃😉- to consider whether or not to purchase bullet resistant jackets -at $500 a pop- for a 6 and 2 year old -who will undoubtedly out grow said jacket. I swear Gardner, if it comes to that. I am sending you a copy of the invoice. Do something about the damn guns. This legislation will only make dressers more expensive and eliminate the sale of 2nd hand dressers not up to code. There is current legislation and this new attempt simply muddles the attempts to evaluate and refocus existing criteria in process. Another point of possible interest, this new legislation does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to mediate the 35% of all accidents which are the result of an unsafe furniture layout. The same percentage as the accidents which occur as a result of manufacturing defect/negligence. So.... How about we improve education to support an early and comprehensive understanding of simple Physics in K-8 education -similar to how Physics is taught in Finland- In high school, try funding Home Economic courses (with a unit on safe furniture for families). Then make Home Economics a graduation requirement for all students regardless of gender. That way more parents are equipped to decide for THEIR children/families what is safe/healthy/best in all sorts of everyday circumstances. Instead of ENABLING OUR WELL MEANING BUT CLUELESS LEGISLATORS TO CONTINUE THE ABHORRENT PRACTICE OF DECIDING FOR THE PEOPLE. And in the meantime, we can subsidize a grant to all the local WIC offices who choose to offer a workshop on consumer friendly child furniture. Then, we are actually helping to keep young children fed, tested for environmental pollutants such as lead, AND PROTECTING “precious innocent children” from falling prey to hazardous unsafe furniture. We could even offer a consumer seal of safety on furniture which meets the new suggested child safety standards and use a portion of corporate certificate fees to fund safe/affordable furniture for home daycares? Thus helping to eliminate the majority of cases of accidents involving unsafe furniture. WHICH by the way HAPPEN TO OCCUR IN HOME DAYCARES. If after reading this entire argument against neutering parents from their responsibility as their child’s advocate/protector leaves you unmoved and still desiring the hazy sturdy children’s bedroom furniture guidelines offered in this bill.. please, see chapter 5 and 6 of link for guidance on children’s bedroom furniture from a graduate student who, at least, has the necessary field expertise to grasp the complexity of the industrial design industry and a basic understanding child development. It also has the benefit of being rooted in actual science and uses a professionally acceptable survey method to uncover the actual root of the problem. There are even definitions/criteria. DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS IN CHILDREN BEDROOM FURNITURE OF PRESCHOOL PERIOD WITH AN ANALYSIS OF TODAY’S TURKISH CHILDREN FURNITURE MARKET http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.633.7689&rep=rep1&type=pdf
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Consumer Protection and Commerce
    IntroducedApril 10th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 2211?

This bill – the STURDY Act — would seek to make furniture safer for young children by directing the Consumer Product Safety Commission to adopt a stronger, mandatory stability standard for free-standing clothing storage units (such as dressers, chests, chests of dressers, or bureaus) within one year of its enactment. 

This standard would follow the streamlined rulemaking process that the Consumer Product Safety Commission has used for numerous children’s products, and could be based on a voluntary standard (such as the American Society for Testing and Materials’ International standard). It would be required to include specific additional criteria to ensure children’s safety. The additional criteria that would be required include: 

  • An increased weight limit to simulate the weight of children up to six years old (72 months); 
  • Testing under real world conditions such as climbing, carpeted floors, and open drawers;
  • Inclusion of smaller clothing storage units (defined as those under 30 inches in height); and 
  • Strengthened warning requirements.

This bill’s full title is the Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth Act.

Impact

Families; children; furniture; furniture safety; furniture tip-overs; Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC); and CPSC standards for furniture safety to prevent furniture tip-overs.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2211

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee who began her career as a consumer advocate, reintroduced this bill from the 114th Congress to direct the Consumer Product Safety Commission to adopt a stronger, mandatory stability standard for clothing storage units and prevent furniture tip-overs from killing or injuring children

“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. I’m introducing the STURDY Act to help protect children from these preventable accidents and spare their families these painful situations, resulting simply from a piece of furniture.”

Kids in Danger supports this bill. Its executive director, Nancy Cowles, says low recall numbers in 2019 thus seem to suggest that dangerous products are being left in homes, putting children at risk: 

“It is tricky to say whether low recall numbers are a good thing – pointing to safer products – or a sign of lax enforcement, leaving dangerous products on store shelves and in our homes. Indicators this year, such as less effective actions in lieu of recalls and fewer findings of design defects in the recalls that were announced, make us worry it is the latter.”

In a joint fact sheet released by Kids in Danger and a number of other consumer and medical groups, Cowles added that the current voluntary standard hasn’t done enough to reduce tip-overs. She concluded, “Congress must pass the STURDY Act now to mandate stringent testing on dressers before they hit the market and end up in children’s bedrooms.” 

Consumer Reports’ organizing manager, Meg Bohne, adds that a more effective mandatory standard would help make furniture safer for young children:

“There’s no easy way for a consumer to simply look at a dresser and tell whether it is likely to tip over. A more effective, mandatory standard would help consumers trust that dressers on the market resist tipping over onto young children. Consumer Reports strongly supports the STURDY Act and urges its swift passage to help prevent these avoidable tragedies.”

While it supports a mandatory stability standard to hold all manufacturers to the same safety specifications for clothing storage furniture, the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) argues that this bill is unnecessary because the CPSC has already begun working on a mandatory standard. It also argues that some elements in this bill, such as testing furniture on a “standard” carpet and “standard” carpet padding, aren’t possible because there are no standard definitions of such items. The AHFA’s CEO, Andy Counts, says: 

“None of these proposed new tests have been defined yet nor determined to be feasible. In order for a mandatory standard to be enforceable, the stability tests must be precise, so every manufacturer is able to conduct the tests exactly the same way. Whether a company is located in the United States or overseas, whether they produce low cost furniture or luxury furniture, everyone must use specified test materials and methods to remove any guesswork and guarantee accurate results. AHFA remains committed to working with CPSC to research meaningful new tests that can be standardized and incorporated into a mandatory standard.”

This legislation passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee by voice vote with the support of 23 Democratic House cosponsors. Its Senate companion, sponsored by Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), has three Democratic Senate cosponsors and hasn’t yet received a committee vote. It’s also supported by Kids In Danger, Parents Against Tip-overs (PAT), the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), Public Citizen, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and Consumer Reports

In the 114th Congress, this legislation didn’t have any House cosponsors and didn’t receive a committee vote. Its Senate companion, sponsored by Sen. Casey, had two Democratic Senate cosponsors and also didn’t receive a committee vote.


Of NoteThere have been several high-profile toddler deaths linked to falling dressers in recent years, including incidents in February 2016 and May 2017. More generally, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that a child dies due to a furniture or TV tip-over every 10 days, and a child is sent to the emergency room due to this every 30 minutes. When Rep. Schakowsky originally introduced this bill in December 2016, it was in response to three reports of toddler deaths after IKEA Malm dresser tip-over accidents.  

The current voluntary standard for furniture, ASTM F2057-17, requires a 50-pound weight to be used to stability testing. This reflects the 95th percentile weight of a child up to five years old (60 months). 


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / PeopleImages)

AKA

STURDY Act

Official Title

To require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to promulgate a consumer product safety rule for free-standing clothing storage units to protect children from tip-over related death or injury, and for other purposes.

    I am more concerned about guns killing children; abusers killing children; anti-vaxers killing children; US drones killing Yemeni children, but if this legislation can save one precious life of a child then I am all for it, 100%!
    Like (22)
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    Share
    I thought the agency’s mandate would cover this and any other child endangering product design. Why does this require legislation? Let's fix the problem of letting any administration arbitrarily appointing any unqualified or inappropriate agency head in charge of government agencies whose mission is to protect the public. That includes both permanent and temporary appointments. Most of trump's appointments or temporarily placed agency heads are either totally incompetent or are actively dismantling the very mission of the agencies they are appointed to head. Legislation to provide meaningful oversight of the permanent or temporarily appointed agency chiefs would require much less detailed legislation regarding minute details regarding the public services these agencies provide.
    Like (54)
    Follow
    Share
    How about gun control laws? Firearms are the second leading cause of death among American children and adolescents, after car crashes. Firearm deaths occur at a rate more than three times higher than drownings. Tipping over furniture doesn’t even make the top ten. What’s more, the United States has had 1,316 school shootings since 1970. The numbers of these tragic events have been increasing, with 18% of the total occurring in the past seven years since the Newtown school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In the United States, middle- and high school-age children are now more likely to die as the result of a firearm injury than from any other single cause of death. The United States stands out among high-income countries: Over 90% of all the firearm deaths among children and adolescents that occur in industrialized nations occur in the USA. Furthermore, Ameica has more privately owned firearms – not including military firearms – than we have citizens. If you want to claim that you care about the safety of children, how about addressing the dangers they actually face in the real world?
    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
    At least there are more details and a better rationale than for the nefarious crib bumpers and the deadly inclined sleepers... Even so, I think the bigger threat AND THE LEGISLATIVE ELEPHANT 🐘 are the actual assault rifles killing kids while causing normally rational grandparents -like myself 🙃😉- to consider whether or not to purchase bullet resistant jackets -at $500 a pop- for a 6 and 2 year old -who will undoubtedly out grow said jacket. I swear Gardner, if it comes to that. I am sending you a copy of the invoice. Do something about the damn guns. This legislation will only make dressers more expensive and eliminate the sale of 2nd hand dressers not up to code. There is current legislation and this new attempt simply muddles the attempts to evaluate and refocus existing criteria in process. Another point of possible interest, this new legislation does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to mediate the 35% of all accidents which are the result of an unsafe furniture layout. The same percentage as the accidents which occur as a result of manufacturing defect/negligence. So.... How about we improve education to support an early and comprehensive understanding of simple Physics in K-8 education -similar to how Physics is taught in Finland- In high school, try funding Home Economic courses (with a unit on safe furniture for families). Then make Home Economics a graduation requirement for all students regardless of gender. That way more parents are equipped to decide for THEIR children/families what is safe/healthy/best in all sorts of everyday circumstances. Instead of ENABLING OUR WELL MEANING BUT CLUELESS LEGISLATORS TO CONTINUE THE ABHORRENT PRACTICE OF DECIDING FOR THE PEOPLE. And in the meantime, we can subsidize a grant to all the local WIC offices who choose to offer a workshop on consumer friendly child furniture. Then, we are actually helping to keep young children fed, tested for environmental pollutants such as lead, AND PROTECTING “precious innocent children” from falling prey to hazardous unsafe furniture. We could even offer a consumer seal of safety on furniture which meets the new suggested child safety standards and use a portion of corporate certificate fees to fund safe/affordable furniture for home daycares? Thus helping to eliminate the majority of cases of accidents involving unsafe furniture. WHICH by the way HAPPEN TO OCCUR IN HOME DAYCARES. If after reading this entire argument against neutering parents from their responsibility as their child’s advocate/protector leaves you unmoved and still desiring the hazy sturdy children’s bedroom furniture guidelines offered in this bill.. please, see chapter 5 and 6 of link for guidance on children’s bedroom furniture from a graduate student who, at least, has the necessary field expertise to grasp the complexity of the industrial design industry and a basic understanding child development. It also has the benefit of being rooted in actual science and uses a professionally acceptable survey method to uncover the actual root of the problem. There are even definitions/criteria. DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS IN CHILDREN BEDROOM FURNITURE OF PRESCHOOL PERIOD WITH AN ANALYSIS OF TODAY’S TURKISH CHILDREN FURNITURE MARKET http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.633.7689&rep=rep1&type=pdf
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    To me this is more about child proofing a home. You can always attach straps to a dresser and anchor it to the wall.
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    That is why God gave parents to children. Parents need to worry about that. The government needs to back off.
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    Furniture tip-overs can seriously injure or even kill young children. These tragedies could be prevented with better stability standards requiring furniture manufacturers to design and test for stability that would be imposed by this bill. 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. I’m introducing the STURDY Act to help protect children from these preventable accidents and spare their families these painful situations, resulting simply from a piece of furniture
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    Why do we continually need to legislate these things! It's common sense and there are already agencies that are supposed to be keeping companies accountable for producing quality, safe products. What I don't get is why the companies producing these products aren't automatically building a safer product. Also, what's wrong with parents that they're not taking the initiative to make sure the product(s) they put in their children's rooms aren't safely installed? Everyone wants to blame somebody else and not look at their own actions.
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    We ARE talking about the Cosumer Product Safety Commission here, right? Or is it me who's the ONLY One who's high AF, yet has the straight ability to call-out whoever/wherever they're messing with us🤬 Hey Wizards! IT'S IN YOUR FRIGGEN NAME! WAKE UP PEOPLE! THEY ARE WASTING OUR TAX MONEY! NAE OPPOSE NAE This is where it's hard to not look like a sour-puss or have to be rude about the shit. You see, it IS true that Furniture tip-overs can seriously injure or even kill young children. These tragedies could be prevented with better stability standards requiring furniture manufacturers to design and test for stability that would be imposed by this bill. AND The Consumer Product Safety Commission is already working on new stability standards, so this bill is unnecessary. Additionally, some of the provisions in this bill, such as testing on “standard” carpeting isn't possible, because such definitions don’t exist. And as we ALL know this type of nano writing IS what lobbyists PAY SO MUCH FOR! We KNOW many happen on carpeting. Write it into the law as is and quit trying to go around the law, is what I say... NAE OPPOSE NAE
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    It is not the governments job to parent our children.
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    Sure. Isn't there already a standard for ovens/ranges? I think this seems like a good safety measure to take, even though it might be harder for parents to implement. We must protect our children when possible.
    Like (5)
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    How about just teaching your children not to climb on the furniture. They used to do that in this country. Now generally children go wild because the parents are idiots. “Well we work everyday “ is not an excuse. You elected to have children, now bring them up properly.
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    How did we ever survive our youths with the epidemic of dresser tip overs. I’m shocked humanity has made it this far without succumbing to furniture tip overs!!! Amazing!!!
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    Our World has dangers in it. We cannot prevent ourselves, or Our children from danger. Se Must, as Our parents did, teach Our Children about the world. If we don't know it, it is Our Personal Responsibility to learn it. The cost passed on to consumers is not acceptable.
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    Why has it taken so long to do this? Has the lobbyists been worked no to make the legislation meaningless? Will congress come up with a bill that won’t let any sue the companies?
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    It only makes sense! Every parent needs to plainly see that kids will be kids, and parents need to prepare every time they introduce a new product into their home. THINK LIKE A KID, and be proactive.
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    Dressers should be built not to TIP OVER ON CHILDREN.
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    GUN Control, morons!
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    Information indicates consumer safety protections are already working on this, so this bill isn’t necessary and duplication wastes money. No, this bill isn’t necessary.
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    I was a climber as a child and a large oak dresser resided in the bathroom. Three times I pulled out the drawers making my way to the top at which point the dresser fell over throwing me clear each time with my only suffering a skinned heel on my last expedition. We can't legislate everything. Big heavy things are dangerous and if we are not careful may fall over if not used properly. How about filing cabinets? Do we legislate them too? Where does it end? But wait. How many children are killed by guns in the home yet there is only silence?
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