Keeping Children Safe from Furniture Tip-Over Accidents
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a falling piece of furniture or TV sends an injured child to the emergency room every 24 minutes. Unfortunately, many parents don’t realize how hazardous these massive objects can be, especially for small children.
With the recent increase of furniture-related child injuries, it’s important to take extra precautions to keep your young ones safe. September is Baby Safety Month, a great time to highlight some simple tips you can follow to prevent furniture tip-over accidents in your home.
- Make sure furniture meets the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) safety standards. This information can be found on the company’s website. Products by many well-known brands are engineered and tested to comply with the ASTM safety standard to inhibit tip-over accidents. Recent news reports about child injuries due to furniture tip-over accidents are a reminder of how important it is to be vigilant in meeting these standards and for consumers to buy products that adhere to product safety standards.
- Use a tipping restraint kit or anti-tip device to properly secure your furniture to the wall. Anti-tip devices are inexpensive and easy to install. Existing furniture can be anchored with anti-tip brackets, which can be purchased online or at your local hardware store. New furniture is sold with tipping restraint kits, so install them right away according to manufacturer instructions. Don’t forget to double check the attachment points to make sure the device is secure.
- Look for products that are GREENGUARD Gold Certified. Poor indoor air quality can contribute to health problems in kids, including asthma and allergies. Products that have achieved the GREENGUARD Gold Certification have been screened for over 10,000 chemicals and more than 360 volatile organic compounds that pollute indoor air and impact health.
- Inspect your home for other safety risks, including unanchored TVs. Televisions should only be placed on a TV stand or media center. Never use a dresser or bookshelf as a TV stand, as these items can easily fall over. If your TV isn’t mounted to the wall, anchor it with an anti-tip device or strap to prevent it from falling. Also remove toys and other items that could tempt kids to climb from the top of furniture and TVs.
Furniture tip-over accidents are 100 percent preventable. Protect your children by anchoring heavy furniture to the wall and purchasing products that adhere to industry safety standards.