Prevent Tipping Furniture from Injuring or Killing Young Children
The nation’s emergency physicians handle tragic situations too often, but few things are more upsetting than the sudden death of a child — killed by a piece of a furniture, appliance or a television falling on them.
“It can happen in a matter of seconds probably in anyone’s home,” said Dr. Alex Rosenau, of the the American College of Emergency Physicians. “Every parent or guardian of a young child should look around their homes and imagine what could tip over, fall off walls and injure a child. Imagining it is better than it becoming a reality.”
About 43,000 people annually were treated in emergency departments between 2009 and 2011 as a result of objects tipping over (such as televisions, dressers, file cabinets, large appliances,) according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Sixty-percent of those emergency visits were from children. 294 children died in that time span –ranging from one-month to 8-years-old.
How to Prevent Injuries or Fatalities:
- Properly secure all furniture (especially with shelves, drawers and doors) to walls and remove furniture that is top-heavy and cannot be secured. Check with home improvement stores or child retail stores and ask experts what they recommend.
- Secure all computer monitors.
- Keep television and computer equipment low to the ground.
- Do not place any objects on top of a television.
- Place heavy and often-used items low to the ground.
- Secure or remove artwork that could potentially fall and injure a child, like a sculpture or large painting.
- Secure appliances such as refrigerators, ovens and microwaves, from tipping over.
- If you have a mounted television, make sure it’s in a place that’s out or reach for a young child.
- Put up safety gates to keep young children from rooms that have may have greater risks.
“Telling a child not to touch or climb on something is not enough, said Dr. Rosenau. “You must take the first steps to prevent tragedy from happening in your home – by childproofing each room they are in.”