One of the most horrific memories of my residency training was caring for a little girl after she sustained a life-threatening injury from a TV and dresser tip-over. When I met her she was unconscious, non-responsive, and simply gorgeous. She was just so little and there was so much suffering around her. These real stories harbor horror but also hope.
Injuries from tip-overs are worth talking about. Securing furniture or new TV’s (especially after the holidays) are those things that end up on the long, “Honey-Do” lists that we often push aside and that we often de-prioritize. No reason really except that the tragedy just seems so unlikely. Injuries to our children from tip-overs or children who visit our homes are entirely preventable. Statistics and quick tips for how to get it done tonight below.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently released this video featuring mothers who have lost their children to a terrible, but preventable tragedy: a TV or furniture tip-over incident. It’s a horrifying thing to reflect on — almost too hot to hold in your thoughts. But these parents ring out with a true reminder of the importance of always anchoring your screens and furniture. Hashtag anchor it… #AnchorIt
How to Prevent Death and Injury From Falling TVs and Furniture in Your Home:
The fact of the matter is, toddlers and young children are going to explore and climb and pull on things. Their curiosity leads their development. We as parents must do everything we can to make sure they are the safest they can possibly be while doing those kinds of activities. That includes taking the following precautions and realizing that a few screw holes in the wall are well worth it.
- Mount Your TVs. Mount flat-screen TVs to the wall or to furniture to prevent them from toppling over. TVs that are not wall mounted should still be anchored to the wall. You can purchase a variety of wall mounts online on site likes Amazon or in-stores like Best Buy, WalMart, Costco, Target and many others. They are easy to find.
- Secure Furniture. Things like night stands, dressers, book shelves, mirrors, and other pieces of furniture should be secured to the wall, preferably with dry-wall screws into a stud. Falling furniture can be just as dangerous and crushing as TVs.
- Remove Temptation. Never stash items your kids might be interested in on elevated surfaces like shelves, dressers, TVs, furniture etc. If your child spots something up high, yet within sight, they may be tempted to climb for it.
- Get a tutorial. You can view tutorials and videos online if you’re struggling to get your TV mounted properly. If you’re not confident in your abilities, you can hire companies like Best Buy (Geek Squad) & West Elm or a local handy man to mount your TV for you. Or ask friends and neighbors who have children.
Make a pact and just get this done?
The IKEA dressers are notorious for tipping over. They were recently recalled and you can get free mounting kits. Very scary and they are in so many homes! ours tipped with just one drawer open. Now it’s mounted! Thanks for writing about this.
Breanna Clements,Michelle Burt, Emily Peterson says
Thinking of you and your precious babies with Love, Great Grandma Shirley