Heavy Objects Could Threaten Children

The following Family & Consumer Science article printed in the November 12, 2015 edition of the Oldham Era.

Children’s Safety First

Televisions, dressers, refrigerators, stoves — we all have them. But did you know that these items could pose serious danger to your children if not properly secured? This is especially true for those with toddlers or young children who love to climb and explore.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, one child died every two weeks between 2000 and 2010 as the result of furniture, a TV, or appliance falling on top of them. Between 2008 and 2010, the commission estimates more than 22,000 children age eight and younger were treated in hospital emergency rooms from injuries sustained by accidentally pulling a heavy household item over on themselves.

Child Safety: Secure Furniture and Appliances

Securing large, heavy objects like TVs either to the wall or the floor can help keep your child safe from such accidents. Mounting brackets are available at most appliance, large retail, and hardware stores. Most new furniture now comes with anti-tip brackets.

If you’re unable to anchor these items, you can still take precautions to protect your child. Place TVs on low, sturdy bases. If TVs must be placed on top of furniture, make sure the furniture piece is sturdy enough to hold the device and push the TV as far back as possible to make it harder for children to reach.

Child Safety: Prevent Accidents

Mirrors attached to dressers could also pose a falling hazard. Securing it to the wall can help ensure that the mirror will not fall over if the dresser is bumped.

Never leave any item, such as a remote or toys, on top of a heavy household object as it may tempt children to climb on top of something to reach it. Keep all dresser drawers closed. If left open, they may provide an enticing pathway for children to climb on. Make sure your TV and cable cords are out of reach of children; pulling on these cords can easily topple the large electronics.

When purchasing household appliances with anti-tip brackets, ensure those brackets are properly installed.

Never leave your child alone in a room where these safety precautions have not been taken. More information on ways to keep your family safe is available at the Oldham County Cooperative Extension Service.

Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.

Source: Nicole Peritore, UK Family Health Extension Specialist; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Edited by Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant. Reviewed by Chris Duncan, Family & Consumer Science Agent.

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