The authors of the study said that the use of tempered glass, which is required in sliding doors and windshields, could prevent thousands of injuries each year. Tempered glass is four to five times stronger than standard glass and breaks into small fragments that are less likely to cause injury.
“This is a serious safety hazard with a simple remedy,” said Donald Mays, senior director of product safety and technical policy for Consumers Union, which cosponsored the study. “The use of tempered glass can significantly reduce the more than 20,000 serious injuries incurred each year from the use of common annealed glass in furniture.”
There are currently no safety standards in place for tables with glass tops or glass panels, according to a statement from the hospital. Although some furniture makers already use tempered glass in their products, there is no way to visually deduce that the glass has been strengthened.
The study will appear in a March issue of Pediatric Emergency Care.
Researchers at Children’s said they have launched a similar investigation of other glass-related safety threats, including thermometers and Christmas ornaments.