Furniture Safety 101
Awareness of the need to secure furniture against tip overs is thankfully increasing. However, it’s still not unusual that I encounter resistance by parents to secure furniture.
Any piece of furniture has the potential of being tipped over…Even if it’s never been associated with a recall…Even if it’s a heavy sturdy piece. Imagine a child really wanting that toy or item up on a piece of furniture. She opens up a drawer or two and then stands on the drawers in an effort to climb up higher. Those open drawers change the center of gravity of furniture and combined with the weight of a child, that dresser will tip over very easily.
Tip-overs can happen very quickly…at the speed of gravity and that is faster than you can dash across a room.
Tip over hazard isn’t just for little toddlers. Children of any age may be curious or adventurous enough to attempt to climb a piece of furniture.
Drawer latches are not designed to replace furniture anchors. Eventually a child will learn to defeat drawer latches but are still at risk for serious injury if he decides to try to climb a dresser.
Strap furniture all over the house, not just the nursery. You’re kiddo is going to be spending time all over the home…living room, dining room, your bedroom etc.
Don’t forget to secure TV’s. All TV’s need to be anchored with straps specifically designed for television anchoring. Have TV’s placed on an appropriately sized and sturdy base that is also secured to the wall. Or, having them mounted up on the wall is a great alternative.
Often parents ask ‘what should I use?’ I prefer furniture restraints that have durable nylon straps, heavy duty buckles & brackets. The strap needs to be secured into the stud behind the drywall; hollow wall or dry wall anchors won’t cut it when it comes to the weight of furniture. At least two straps per piece for furniture need to be used.
The most recent data from the Consumer Products Safety Commission shows that an annual average of 38,000 people were treated in emergency rooms due to injuries from falling furniture and TV’s & that it was children under 10 that are overwhelmingly the most likely to be severely injured. That translated to a child going to the hospital with injuries due to a furniture tip over every 30 minutes.
Parents, please get that furniture strapped. The time and cost and effort is a small price for your peace of mind and safety of your child. Austin Babyproofing Company has the knowledge and experience to help with this. Family owned, Austin Babyproofing Company has been serving the Austin area since 2000 and carries the Certified Professional Childproofer designation.