As soon-to-be parents ready their home for a new bundle of joy, countless safety items are purchased. Socket covers, cabinet locks, and door handle protectors are just a few of the many safety products on the market for parents and guardians of young children today. Unfortunately, there is one type of injury that many parents and family members of young children may not be as highly informed about. Television and furniture tip-over accidents injure a child every 24 minutes in the United States. 81% of those incidents happen inside the child’s home and 2/3 involve toddlers. A child loses his or her life, on average, every two weeks as a result of a tip-over accident.
Earlier this year, reports surfaced of an IKEA dresser tipping over on top of a 22-month-old boy, which caused his death. The dresser style is the IKEA MALM. In July of 2015, the CPSC and IKEA announced a “repair program” for chests and dressers after two separate 2014 incidents resulted in toddler deaths. This product recall/repair program allows customers to request repair kits with hardware for anchoring to the wall free of charge. More than 300,000 kits have been provided to customers – a fraction of the 27 million dressers affected by the recall.
So what’s the best method to anchor your television or furniture? The following steps are suggested by the CPSC’s “Anchor It!” campaign:
- Purchase and use only sturdy furniture that is made to hold a television. Media centers and television stands detail their safety and usage details on the packaging.
- Flat screen televisions should be mounted to the wall or furniture. This prevents tip-overs.
- Secure any TVs that are not wall mounted by anchoring them to the wall.
- Remove tempting objects, such as toys, from the top of furniture and televisions.
- Follow instructions provided by the manufacturer very carefully when securing TVs and furniture.
- Top-heavy furniture should be secured by purchasing anti-tip brackets for a small fee. Most new furniture is sold with anti-tip devices included.
Even if you do not have children in your home, it is good practice to anchor your furniture in the event of a child visiting. It can also be dangerous for pets and adults bending in front of furniture. Even furniture and TVs in rooms other than common areas should be anchored. In fact, a majority of accidents happen in the bedroom. For more information about tip-over incidents, visit www.anchorit.gov.