Who hasn’t placed their child in front of the TV or left them alone to play in their room in order to get household chores or projects completed? We all have, right?
We as parents have taken the first line of defense in knowing where our children are, we’ve secured the room, we think, and we’ve set clear boundaries on what areas are off limits. Unfortunately, unattended children tend to climb on, over or under every item in a room they’ve repeatedly been told not to touch, and things happen so quickly. Take heart, there are a few simple additional steps parents can take to prevent serious injury to their children.
If you took stock right now, how many TV’s, night stand, dressers, bookcases, and the like are secured? If your child climbed onto your TV stand could they pull it over on themselves? When a heavy item falls onto a child they may experience a range of injuries from broken bones to internal injury and head trauma. Scary!
A child’s seeming “elasticity” may mean less broken bones, but that same bendability also means they don’t have the same skeletal shield protection for their vital organs, namely their lungs and heart.
While it can be a challenge to completely child-proof a home against any injury, we can try to foresee a potential danger, and use preventative measures to safeguard our children before they get hurt. We wouldn’t dream of bringing our baby home without a car seat. We wouldn’t approve of our child riding their bike without a safety helmet. In the same way, we want to protect our child from the potential risk of a TV or other furniture tipping over on top of them.
Tip 1: Check TV’s
- First, evaluate the stability of all TV’s in your home.
Tip 2: Secure TV’s
- Consider mounting flat-screen TV’s to the wall with appropriate hardware instead of placing them on stands. If you have an older model TV that doesn’t allow wall mounting, place it on a low, rectangular piece of furniture offering plenty of stability. And you can use something like anti-tip furniture/flat screen TV safety straps to mount the TV to the wall or the TV stand as well.
Tip 3: Recycle Old TV’s
- If you no longer use your box TV, there is no reason to leave it on a stand or dresser. You can find a location offering safe, easy recycling options at GreenerGadgets.org.
Tip 4: Secure Furniture
- Use specially made tip resistant furniture safety brackets to attach top-heavy furniture to the wall.
- Purchase dressers with drawer stops or install drawer locks/stops with a disable feature on existing furniture to prevent drawers from opening all the way. If there are multiple drawers of a dresser open at the same time – or a filing cabinet as I can attest to first hand 🙁 – the center of gravity shifts and it is more likely to topple forward.
Tip 5: Rearrange
- Consider placing heavier items on lower shelves or tables so that if they fall they’re less likely to cause injury. Don’t place items of temptation (i.e. toys, food, remote controls) where your child is inclined to climb or reach for them, thereby running the risk of furniture or heavy household items falling on them or chairs collapsing or shifting beneath them.
P.S. What prevention tips do you use to secure your home?