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The $5 Home Improvement That Could Save Your Child’s Life

You’ve probably seen the terrifying video that has made the rounds on social media. {If you haven’t, you can watch it here.} It shows twin two-year-olds playing in their room and a dresser falling on one of the boys. The parents released the nanny cam video hoping to warn others that something like this truly can happen to anyone. Personally, in our home we have not secured any of the furniture to the walls, but after reading more about this common danger, I’ll start anchoring furniture immediately! And what about you, is your home safe? 

Of course, I’ve heard furniture can fall over on kids, but until I started researching the topic I had no idea just how big of a problem this really is. {You may have heard Ikea recently agreed to pay $50 million to the families of three children killed when Ikea dressers tipped over and crushed them.} The latest findings from the Consumer Product Safety Commission show that one child dies every two weeks because of items such as dressers, TVs, or appliances landing on them. The CPSC also shows three kids are hurt EVERY HOUR in the United States by something falling on them. Yikes.  See below for some startling facts from the CPSC…

Where are these accidents happening?

  • 45% Bedroom
  • 24% Living Room
  • 4% Kitchen
  • 29% Other / Unknown

What is most commonly falling on children?

  • 70% Televisions & Furniture
  • 26% Furniture {such as dressers and tables}
  • 4% Appliances

Advocacy groups such as Charlie’s House offer printable childproofing safety checklists for parents to prevent tipping accidents around the home. Tips include anchoring furniture {even short dressers}, televisions, bookcases, and other tip-prone furniture to the wall with restraint straps. Charlie’s House will even help provide straps for families in need. 

Anchoring Furniture with Anti-tip Devices

Anti-tip devices are sold online and in-stores for $5 to $25. Any home improvement store will probably have these devices in stock. An online search for “anti-tip strap” or “anti-tip kit” will result in a variety of purchase options. Here are a few strap and bracket options we found…

Additional Safety Tips

Besides anchoring furniture to the wall, the CPSC offers the following safety tips…

  1. Place TVs on a sturdy, low-rise base; avoid flimsy shelves.
  2. Push the TV as far back on its stand as possible.
  3. Place electrical cords out of a child’s reach and teach kids not to play with them.
  4. Keep remote controls and other attractive items off the TV stand so kids won’t be tempted to grab for them and risk knocking the TV over.
  5. Make sure free-standing ranges and stoves are installed with anti-tip brackets.

Childproofing Experts in the Houston area

Want a second opinion about safety in your home? You can hire someone to come out and child proof each room. We came across these two companies that offer personal child safety visits to your home.

Other Household Dangers

This video of the dresser falling over has brought to light a common problem in homes across the United States, but there may be other dangers you might not think too much about. The CPSC issued these additional safety warnings for parents…

  • Lock toilets and don’t leave water in the tub. Even small amounts of water can be deadly.
  • Make sure the water heater is set to a safe temperature.
  • Lock up poisonous chemicals and, better yet, keep them high and out of reach.
  • Watch out for hazards like batteries, magnets, and medications that children could potentially get into.

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