Earlier this year, furniture superstore IKEA recalled 29 million dressers that posed a tip-over risk to small children. The dressers had been responsible for several deaths and dozens of injuries. While IKEA’s dressers were deemed dangerous by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, many other household items and pieces furniture are also capable of causing tip-over accidents.
Tip-over accidents occur when furniture or items fall over on small children. This can include bookcases, dressers, television sets and stereos. Children injured by tip-over accidents can suffer spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and may even die. Tip-over accidents injure a child somewhere in the United States every 24 minutes.
Suggestions for Parents to Prevent Tip-Over Accidents
It is important for parents to understand this risk and to put into place measures to prevent tip-over accidents from occurring.
Anchor furniture: Parents can purchase furniture anchors to use on dressers, bookstands and television sets. Two anchors should be used for each piece of furniture. Parents should also regularly check anchors to make sure they are tight and in working order.
Buy sturdy furniture: Furniture should be even and sturdy. When furniture is not level with the ground, it can easily tip over and harm small children. Top-heavy furniture might be sold with anti-tip devices to prevent tip over accidents. Anti-tip devices can also be individually purchased.
Mount television sets to walls: Flat-screen televisions not only look nicer, but they are also safer if mounted to walls. By mounting a flat-screen to the wall, it becomes much more difficult for the television to tip over and harm small children.
Don’t place tempting objects on furniture: Placing toys or remote controls on furniture may provide a temptation for children to climb and reach the objects.
Don’t place large objects on small pieces of furniture: Television sets and other heavy objects should be placed on sturdy and large pieces of furniture. In addition, these objects should be anchored to nearby walls.