Excited new parents are quick to put safety caps over their electrical outlets, latches on drawers, and a toddler proof latch on the toilet. These safety devices are commonly used from when the child is an infant to when they start school, and they can prevent a number of accidents and injuries for little curious fingers. While most parents assume they have all of the household hazards minimized, when it comes to baby proofing the home there are two objects that are often overlooked; televisions and dressers.
The Falling TV
Even thin flat televisions are big and heavy, weighing anywhere from thirty to one hundred pounds. Lifting a television is difficult, and can sometimes take two adults. Can you imagine that weight on your child?
According to the latest report from the CPSC, 71 children are injured by televisions in the US each day. While the numbers for Canadian children aren’t clear, it’s safe to say that kids here get hurt on a daily basis too. In the US, a child goes to the emergency room every 30-45 minutes due to a TV related injury, and sadly many of these incidents could have been prevented.
How do you protect your child? If you TV sits on top of a dresser or a stand, buy and install a kit that secures it to the wall. You don’t want your child to be able to pull it off on themselves, and you don’t want the TV to tip forward and crush your kiddo. If your television is thin and attached to the wall without support underneath it, make sure that your child cannot reach it or climb on anything to try to get to it. Move all furniture and chairs away from the TV, and double check to make sure that it is secure on the wall and can’t be pulled off.
The Tipped Dresser
While most parents put a safety latch on the kitchen drawers that hold the silverware and knives, they don’t think to add latches to dressers drawers. The thinking behind this is that there are only clothes in there, and that can’t hurt a child. Many parents also want their toddlers to be able to get their own clothes and start learning how to dress themselves.
To a toddler or preschooler, dressers are fun! You can open and close the drawers, and climb in them. Many toddlers climb in their dresser drawers, even if you don’t know about it. The adventurous tots will use the drawers to try to climb to the top. Maybe they just want to climb, or perhaps they want to retrieve something on the top of the dresser, such as a toy. Either way, this is so dangerous. With the drawers pulled out, the weight is on the front of the dresser, and it can easily fall forward and crush your child.
Protect your kids by securing the dresser to the wall with safety straps. You may need two or more straps, depending on the size and weight of the furniture. Once you have it secured, test it. Pull the dresser forward and see if it will fall. Add more straps if you need too. Your child may still fall backwards onto the floor when the dresser tips, but the straps will prevent the dresser from landing on your child. If your child isn’t old enough to pick out their own clothes, add plastic latches to the drawers to keep them from opening and closing them. These can prevent little fingers from getting pinched and keeps your tots from pulling everything out and making a mess.
Other Overlooked Hazards
Most kiddos are climbers, and you can never be too safe. Walk through each room of your home and make a list of other pieces of furniture that your child could climb or pull over. Take a few hours out of the day to go around and secure each item to the wall. See the video below by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that shows “Tip Over Simulations” in both a bedroom and a living room. Also, if you have an elder in your home, check out our helpful article on 5 Simple Tips To Prevent Falls in Seniors.
Do you think it is important to secure heavy furniture and televisions to the wall? What other steps should new parents take to keep their little ones safe? If you enjoyed this article or have a tip for another parent, please take a moment and leave a comment. We LOVE comments!