By Sonal Parmar

furniture

Did you know that a child visits the emergency department every 45 minutes for an injury related to a television and furniture tip-over injuries can be prevented by making a few simple and affordable changes in your home.  Follow these suggestions from Safe Kids and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)to prevent tip-over hazards in your home:television tipping over (see infographic)  Young children learning to stand, climb, and run are still learning balance.  They often grab objects to stop from falling and may climb on to heavy furniture.  Televisions, top-heavy furniture, and appliances can be unsteady, and if pulled or climbed on, they can fall on a child and cause serious injury.

Secure Televisions

  • Mount flat screen televisions to the wall to reduce the risk of televisions falling off stands. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you protect your wall and have a secure fit (here’s a video with instructions on mounting a television to a wall).
  • If you have a large, old-style television place it on a low, stable piece of furniture.

Secure Furniture

  • Use brackets, braces or wall straps to secure unstable or top-heavy furniture to the wall.
  • Avoid using drawers that can be completely removed and topple onto children.  Cabinet latches are a great way to keep children from opening drawers and climbing onto furniture.

Rearrange Household Items

  • Keep heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers.
  • Keep remote controls, toys, food, and other items away from televisions and furniture where children may be tempted to climb and reach for them.

Watch this great video on the dangers of television tip-overs.  Please visit Safe Kids USA for more information on tip-overs and how to keep your kids safe, healthy, and injury free in 2013!

The home safety products mentioned in this article can be purchased at most major department and hardware stores.  Health centers can request a limited number of supplies by following the instructions on this form and faxing a completed form to 857-288-2162. Please visit the Injury Prevention Program website to learn more about us.

Sonal Parmar is a Program Coordinator for the Injury Prevention Program at the Boston Public Health Commission.

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