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Bright Futures

Articles and Updates from Phoenix Children's

June 14, 2022, Alexander, Ilce ,
Home Safety Month – Furniture Tip-Over
Home Safety Month – Furniture Tip-Over

Furniture pieces like bookshelves, dressers, and tv stands may help keep a home organized, however these items can also be considered dangerous to young children. For small children, furniture may resemble sets of stairs for climbing, a place for playing, or simply a way for children to pull themselves up. When multiple drawers are pulled open, furniture becomes unstable. This can cause the furniture to tip over when a child puts weight on it.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 22,500 people visited the Emergency Department from 2018-2020 for tip-over injuries. Around 44% of these injuries involved children under the age of 18. If a TV or piece of furniture falls on a child, it can cause severe injuries.

To prevent furniture and TV tip over injuries follow these recommendations:

  1. Use furniture straps to anchor each piece of furniture (bookshelves, hutches, dressers, tv stands, etc.) in all living spaces. Even if your furniture is heavy, injuries can still occur. Investing in furniture straps can allow you to properly secure furniture to the ground or a wall. Kits may be purchased online or locally at any hardware or home improvement store. Remember to follow the manufactures recommendations to ensure that you are installing your anchor kits correctly. After you install your furniture straps, remember to check the straps on a regular cadence to ensure that they do not become loose.
  2. Mount your TV to a wall. If you are not able to anchor your TV, be sure to set it on a sturdy low base or table that is designed to store a television and provides more than enough stability. Make sure to place your TV as far back as possible and out of reach for children.
  3. Do not set food, store toys, or set a remote control on top of high furniture. Storing toys or setting enticing items on your furniture may encourage children to climb and can cause your furniture to tip over.
  4. Reorganize items on your shelves. Display kid friendly items on the lower shelves or in baskets. To reduce the risk of injury, remember to store heavy items on lower reinforced shelving or on the ground. When in doubt it always best to remove and store elsewhere.
  5. Hide your cables. Loose cables can become a tripping hazard for anyone. Using a cable box organizer will allow you to keep loose cable cords in a secure manner and prevent small children from tugging or tripping on loose cable cords.

It may seem challenging at times to keep track of your child’s every move, however, taking the time to properly anchor furniture will give you comfort in knowing that your child will be safe in their home environment.

If you would like to learn how to anchor furniture using furniture straps click here or contact Ilce Alexander, senior injury prevention specialist at Phoenix Children’s, by calling 602-933-3393.

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