Thursday, March 24, 2011

Securing Furniture to Prevent Tip-over

Meghan's Hope is a site dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers of furniture tip-over.  I know we all want to protect our little ones the best we can, so please read these tips from the site for how to secure your furniture and televisions:

Secure ALL furniture with shelves, drawers, and doors to the walls (into a stud if possible) with an appropriate device.
It doesn’t matter how tall or short, heavy, stable, or well made it is. 
Be sure that what you use can hold the weight of a fully loaded piece of furniture.   You may need more than one or two straps.
You can use any of the following (easily found on line if not in a store near you):
Safety First Furniture Wall Straps
Mommy’s Helper Furniture Safety Brackets
Kidco’s Anti-tip furniture straps
Quake Hold TV strap, computer strap, big or flat screen TV strap, and appliance strap.  They also have putty and industrial Velcro.
Parent Unit’s Safety straps and topple stops (great for TV’s/computer monitors)
“L” brackets
Earthquake cables
Secure ALL TV’s to the wall and/or to the table/entertainment center on which it sits. 
Don’t forget to secure computer monitors.
Place TV sets and computer monitors on low, stable units as far back as possible, then secure them to the wall and/or to the surface on which it sits
Do not place anything on top of the TV, out of reach is not out of mind!
Place heavy and most often used/played with items on the lowest shelf and in the lowest drawer, putting progressively lighter items in drawers from the bottom up.
Place any items that may be of interest to a child within easy reach so they are not enticed to climb for it or reach for it. 
Do not place items on top of dressers that children may want to play with or that they use.  It only tempts them to climb to reach them.
Do not place items you do not want your child to have within their sight but out of their reach (or even out of sight and out of their reach if they know where you put it) as they are likely to try to climb or reach for it.  Remote controls and toys/games/videos/DVD’s are items kids frequently reach for on top of TV’s. 
Don’t assume simply telling your child not to climb/reach is enough, it isn’t.  Even if they can tell you what they are not supposed to do!
Don’t assume your child will remember the dangers even if you’ve told them to be careful.  Play is the work of children.
Think outside the box.  Consider other things in your home that could be a risk and should be secured.  Perhaps a sculpture or artwork, vases, or large decorative pieces on the floor or on a stand, table, or shelf.
Don’t assume it can’t happen to you, it can, and in a heartbeat.
Don’t assume your child is too old.  Every child under 10 needs to be protected.  Adults and the elderly have also been seriously injured or even killed by fallen furniture or televisions.
Make sure everywhere your child spends time (day care, grandparents, etc) is also a safe environment.
Do it right, do it now.  The next child saved could be yours.
Even if your furniture and TV’s are secured, check the safety straps frequently to be sure they are still secure.  They can come loose or plastic cable ties and parts can break over time, especially if exposed to sunlight or increased pressure.

Click on the link at the beginning of the post to view Meghan's story and to view links to other safety resources.