Each year glass-topped tables account for 20,000 serious injuries. A report in this month’s issue of Pediatric Emergency Care concludes that such tables are an overlooked safety threat. Based on research conducted by Children’s Hospital Boston and written in collaboration with Consumers Union, the study found that common glass used in tables can cause severe injuries to children. Researchers concluded that many of these injuries could have been prevented by the use of tempered glass and the development of safety standards requiring its use.

As we explained earlier on this blog, when tempered glass breaks it shatters into many small fragments. But when common glass breaks, it produces large, jagged pieces. “Huge shards of glass are basically like knives. If they sever an artery, they can cause uncontrolled bleeding, and the injury can be fatal,” says Amir Kimia, MD, of the Division of Emergency Medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston, who led the study.

“This is a serious safety hazard with a simple remedy,” says Donald Mays, Senior Director of Product Safety and Technical Policy for Consumers Union. “The use of tempered glass can significantly reduce the thousands of serious injuries incurred each year from the use of common annealed glass in furniture.”