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Protecting Children from Furniture Accidents

Furniture-related accidents can be devastating, but they are preventable. In recognition of Baby Safety Month, here are some safety tips aimed at keeping your children safe at home.

Four Rules to Protect Children from Furniture Accidents

Information below provided by The Charlotte Observer:

Check for Safety Standards

Make sure your furniture meets the ASTM International safety standards – these can be found on the ASTM’s website. Remember, not all children’s furniture meets the ASTM safety standards, so making sure that you choose a brand that has been tested to prevent tip-over accidents can help ensure your child’s safety.

Secure Furniture that is Prone to Tipping

Properly secure furniture using a furniture tipping restraint kit, which will attach dressers, book cases, and other top-heavy furniture to the wall. Existing furniture that you already have can be secured with anti-tip brackets, which can be purchased online or at a local hardware store.

Brackets aren’t expensive and are easy to install. All new furniture is sold with tipping restraint kits, so install these immediately. Make sure to always follow instructions correctly when installing the devices and check the attachment points to make sure that it is secure.

Look for a Greenguard Gold Certification

Choose items that are Greenguard Gold Certified. Indoor air quality is an important aspect for baby safety. Items that have been awarded this certification have been checked for over 10,000 chemicals and 360 volatile organic compounds that pollute indoor air and contribute to health problems, including asthma and allergies.

Be Proactive in Identifying Hazards

Inspect other safety risks within the home. For example, televisions should be placed on a media center or a low, sturdy piece of furniture that is appropriate size for the television. A dresser is not a sufficient piece of furniture for a television because it can easily tip over.

If your television isn’t mounted to the wall, it should be anchored with an anti-tip device or strap. Make sure to remove objects from on top of televisions and furniture that could tempt children to climb, such as toys and remote controls.

Furniture Tip-Over Statistics

  • According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), every 24 minutes a falling piece of furniture or television sends a child to the emergency room.
  • According to Safe Kids Worldwide, around 26 children die from injuries related to television, furniture, and appliance tip-overs each year.
  • Around 22,200 children ages 19 and under are seen in emergency departments for injuries related to television, furniture and appliance tip-overs each year.
  • Because of how heavy it is, a 36-inch CRT television falling three feet creates the same momentum as a 1-year-old child falling 10 stories.
  • 7 out of 10 (72%) of children who are injured by a TV tipping over are 5-years-old or younger.

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