Falling furniture dangers: how to protect your family
DETROIT – Parents want their children to be safe at home, but some might not think about the danger of falling furniture.
Safety experts are pushing parents and companies to be more aware of that household danger and how to keep your children are safe.
The number of children injured is startling.
"We have a child in an emergency room every 24 minutes on average, and a child dies every two weeks from furniture tipping over on them," said Marietta Robinson, a commissioner at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Two-year-old Ted McGee from Minneapolis died when the dresser he was climbing toppled onto him. Ted's case and others have prompted safety experts to promote the CPSC's "Anchor It" program. The program shows parents how to use straps or anchors to secure furniture or televisions that might fall over.
The CPSC is also urging companies to create furniture that isn't prone to falling over so easily. In the meantime, parents are always encouraged to baby proof their homes, and take special care with furniture that is likely to fall over. If you do it yourself, parents should get down on the floor and look up, looking for any dressers or cabinets that may tempt a child to start climbing.
"People don't even know it's there, in terms of the danger, but secondly, children love to climb, particularly young children. It's part of their development," Robinson said.
Here's a quick list of suggestions from the CPSC for parents looking to improve safety around the house:
- Anchor furniture to the wall or the floor
- Place TVs on sturdy, low bases. Or, anchor the furniture and the TV on top of it, and push the TV as far back on top of the furniture as possible
- Keep remote controls, toys, and other items that might be attractive to children off TV stands or furniture
- Keep TV and/or cable cords out of reach of children
- Make sure freestanding kitchen ranges and stoves are installed with anti-tip brackets
- Supervise children in rooms where these safety tips have not been followed
If you're looking to get help from experts, Angie Hicks, the founder of Angie's List says you can also hire a certified professional childproofer.
"And help assess your home just to get a sense of where the danger zones are because they're experienced and seen a lot of these accidents," Hicks said.
To look for a certified professional childproofer, follow this link: http://www.certifiedprofessionalchildproofers.org
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