You probably didn’t think twice about childproofing your drawers and cabinets. You just did it. But what about your television, furniture and stairs?
If you follow the news, you may have heard that in the last few months, four children have been killed by falling TVs in the Chicago area alone.
The national statistics are even more chilling. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, tipping TVs and furniture take the life of a child every two weeks. Another 15,000 are injured every year.
In the first nationally representative study of stair injuries in young kids, it was unveiled that nearly 932,000 children younger than 5 were hurt in stair accidents in the U.S. in the decade from 1999 through 2008. On average, that’s more than 93,000 kids a year, or about 46.5 injuries for every 10,000 children under age 5, according to the study published in the Journal of Pediatrics.
Sadly, many parents reported they didn’t even realize there was a hazard. The danger is all too real. But so are the solutions.
Safety experts recommend these preventative steps:
• If you can wall mount your flat screen, do so. If you’re using a TV stand, choose one that is stable, low to the ground, and substantially larger than the TV’s base. Place TVs as far back toward the wall as possible.
• When filling a bookshelf or dresser, place the heaviest items on the lower shelves or drawers. Bottom-heavy units are more stable.
• Don’t place toys or other tempting items up high where kids might be tempted to climb to reach them.
• All houses with stairs should have sturdy, wall-mounted gates at the top and at least pressure-mounted gates at the bottom of the flights.
Accidents can happen in a flash, even under a parent’s watchful eye. Childproofing is an ongoing process, and One Step Ahead has done the research and offers what we think is the most effective grouping of home childproofing solutions and safety gates.
Below are a variety of TV strap, furniture bracket and safety gate examples, specifically designed to prevent such accidents. They’re simple, inexpensive, and fairly easy to install, and we’d like to urge all parents to put safeguards like these into place:
Anti-Tip Flat Screen TV Safety Straps
Statistically, about 70% of fatalities involved falling TVs, and flat-screens are particularly crash-prone. Flat Screen TV Safety Straps secure the TV to its stand or to a stud in the wall. They work with all brands of TVs and in various situations. The strap is length adjustable, and multiple types of screws are included.
Mommy’s Helper No Tip Furniture Safety Brackets
According to the CPSC, the most common accident occurs when toddlers climb furniture with shelves or drawers they can scale like a ladder. No Tip Safety Brackets anchor the back of your bookcase or dresser to a stud in the wall, so pieces can’t destabilize. You can detach them as needed for cleaning.
Anti-Tip Furniture Anchor Strap
An even heavier-duty alternative: the Anti-Tip Anchor Strap, made of braided steel cable. It’s ideal for large pieces of furniture, such as entertainment centers, or for extra security. It also attaches to a stud in the wall and detaches easily. It’s commonly used in earthquake zones.
Angle-Mount Wood Safeway Baby Gate
A wood safety gate with special hardware that can be angled precisely as needed, works in virtually every situation. Makes a great top of stairs gate. Includes one-hand walk-through and quick-release mounting hardware, so you can temporarily remove the gate. Wood safety gate expands from 28½”W-43″W. 31″H. Choose Cherry or Oak finish.
For additional safety and childproofing information, visit Resource Center.
Chelsea & Scott Ltd, parent company of One Step Ahead and Leaps and Bounds, specializes in unique, hard-to-find products for babies and children. Founded by Karen and Ian Scott, two parents who wanted the best for their own children, Chelsea & Scott rigorously pre-tests its products and makes product design enhancements based on feedback from actual parents from its extensive Parents Panel.