Raising children means keeping an eye out for what is a non-stop river of danger from when they come home from the hospital until they leave to find their fortunes. You’d like to think of your home as a refuge from it all, but it really isn’t.
One of the biggest dangers to children in the home is furniture. Unlike an electrical outlet, you can’t just slip a silicon plug into it to make it safe. You need to have it available all the time for use.
We took a look at what about furniture poses a risk to children and what you can do about it. If you have kids, we hope you find this article useful in ensuring that you have the safest home possible for your children.
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Five Tips for protecting children from furniture
By far, the biggest threat furniture poses to kids is tipping over on them. But there are other things you should keep a lookout for. If you need to make your home kid-safe, here’s a quick checklist of what you can do.
- Make your room safe. Do the basics. Check your room for easy things like loose rugs and other trip hazards. Get child-safe furniture.
- Maintain your furniture. Make sure your furniture is well cared for. Frayed furniture or fabric pulled away from the frame could pose a scratch or cut risk. Tighten all of your screws down.
- Tie up extra cords. Electrical cords can pose a trip hazard or might invite young hands to pull at them so that things like televisions and coffee makers fall off stands. Zip tie them together and try to move them out of sight.
- Get a kid’s-eye view. Tour your rooms on your hands and knees so you can see what your kid will see. You are likely to notice something that you didn’t as an adult looking down.
- Lockdown to prevent tip-overs. The biggest danger to children from furniture is it tipping over. Take steps to prevent kids from pulling it over, like ensuring there are no candy or television remotes up high to tempt them
You can also make sure your furniture is secured to either a wall or firmly into the floor to prevent it from tipping over.
How do I protect my kids from furniture?
Every year, approximately 15,000 children in the United States visit an emergency department after the furniture has tipped over on top of them. For kids younger than 10, televisions are the biggest cause of injury.
We get that parents want to know how to protect their kids from furniture, especially furniture tipping over on them or falling off something else and onto them.
You can do some things to prevent furniture from tipping over and injuring your kids, but the work starts with making sure that your home is just generally a safe place to be.
Beyond the usual stuff like plugging open electrical sockets and taping down rugs, there are a few things you can do to make sure your furniture is safe.
The first is to make sure your furniture is kid-friendly. Big comfy couches with padded armrests are great. Coffee tables with centers of glass are probably not.
When you purchase furniture, make it’s kept in good repair. Sofa and chair fabric is often fastened down with staples or nails. If the fabric is pulled away, it makes for a scrape or cut hazard.
You’ll also want to make sure that screws are all tight to prevent a possible pinch situation, and that the furniture is situated where it won’t easily slide around. This could help prevent falls from a sofa or a chair.
When it comes to televisions, make sure they are on top of something large enough to hold them if they aren’t wall-mounted. Tie excess cord up and move it out of the way to reduce the chances that a kid can grab it and pull the television off its stand.
A good idea is to get on your hands and knees and take a look at your living space from a kid’s eye view. This will help you see things they might grab for that you can’t see looking down. It might also help you identify trip hazards.
How do you keep furniture from tipping?
Tipover accidents are among the most common and often lead to the most serious injuries. When making your home child-safe, pay particular interest to prevent them.
Remove things kids will climb dressers or shelving units to get. Winning the fight to prevent a ruined appetite isn’t worth a trip to the emergency department.
Only place televisions on top of stands large and sturdy enough to easily support them and mount them if possible. Tie up excess cord and hide it behind the stand to prevent your kids from pulling electronics down on them.
For dressers and shelves and other tall, heavy furniture, mount them to the wall with brackets. Even if they aren’t particularly heavy, they can cause serious injury as they gain speed while falling outwards.
One underappreciated source of injuries is the stove. Make sure you’re is stable enough that it won’t easily tip. Consider using brackets just to be sure.
Keeping your kids safe in a dangerous world is almost a full-time job in itself. You’d like to think that you get a break from it when you get home, but accidents in the home are common and can have serious consequences.
This includes your furniture. It isn’t easy to child-proof something like a kitchen table or a sofa, but there are some quick, handy things you can do to at least minimize the risk.
We put some of them together in this article and hope you find them useful in making your home safer for your kids. If you did or have your tips for keeping children safe we’d love to hear about it in a comment. Or feel free to share this on your social media feeds.