Recently there has been an increase in the number of child-related accidents or fatalities involving large TV’s or large objects of furniture falling, or being pulled down, on top of small children under the age of 6.
Many of us may be unaware that a small child or toddler can fairly easily and unknowingly cause a 100 pound TV or large piece of furniture to tip over on them and result in a heartbreaking tragedy that could have been easily prevented.
As the number of these dangerous scenarios have been on the rise, the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) has even issued a special warning on their own website to help alert parents about these dangers. In addition to that, the CPSC has also hosted a Twitter chat about this subject with a group of parents and panel of experts on the subject which you can also follow on their website. www.cpsc.gov
CPSC data shows that between 2008 to 2010 alone, there were 22,000 injuries and several fatalities associated with product instability for children under the age of 9.
While most of us are probably already aware that small children should never be left unattended, we should also be aware that the best method for reducing the likelihood of an accident like this, is for us to first evaluate and reduce the number of unsafe conditions or hazards found within the walls of our own homes.
The reality is, it only takes a couple seconds to glance away from attending a small child or toddler, for an accident like this to occur, so let’s get started with some tips on how we can take some preventative measures to help reduce the number of unsafe conditions in our own homes.
Here are some basic tips from the CPSC to help get you started preventing accidents like these in your own home or to help make friends and family aware of the potential dangers which they may be unaware of:
- Always place TV’s on a sturdy, low-rise base and push them as far back as possible.
- Get in the habit of NOT placing your remote controls, or other similarly attractive items that might appear like toys to your child, on top of the TV stand so that kids will not try to grab for them and risk knocking over the TV in the process.
- Place electrical cords out of reach from your child and teach kids that electrical cords and plugs are never to be used as “playthings”.
- Furniture should be stable and well-balanced on its own, and take care to NOT load dresser draws with the heavy objects in the top drawers, thereby causing a “top-heavy” situation. For added security, anchor chests, dressers, Entertainment units, and bookcases to the floor or wall for added stability.
- Check to make sure that any free-standing ranges and stoves are installed with anti-tip brackets to help secure them.
- Teach children from the beginning that pieces of furniture (other than chairs)such as dressers, shelves, TV stands, etc.) are not “playthings” and should never be used as a “playground” for climbing or sitting upon.
An additional note:
While an increasing trend may be to mount flat-screen TV’s on brackets on the wall, some “experts” argue that this method for mounting TV’s may potentially be increasing the falling hazard for young children. and you can read more about this debate about wall mounted TV monitors on the Twitter Chat that is featured on the CPSC website in order to help evaluate and educate yourself on this subject.
Image from CPSC website.