Know the Dangers: Furniture Safety

By Luis Rivera, Safe Kids Connecticut, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

*Video courtesy of Wall Street Journal (YouTube)

We probably all saw the very scary video of a dresser falling over on  two young boys. These boys pulled out the shelves and used the shelves to climb up the dresser. What we all need to understand is that this is predictable behavior for young children. The video can be hard to watch because we know that when this happens, many children are not as lucky as these two boys were.

Each year children are seriously injured and even killed in furniture tip-over events. The young boys in the video were fortunate enough to escape from this potentially deadly situation with just minor injuries.

Children learn by exploring the world around them. As adults we need to understand what in a child’s environment poses a deadly hazard. Children aged five and younger are most at-risk, with most of the injuries that children suffer at home being predictable and preventable.

With furniture like a dresser or a television, parents need to make sure that it will not tip over. Furniture companies will include a way to anchor furniture to the wall. You can also buy furniture anchors or straps from most hardware stores. Other important home safety measures include using safety gates to prevent children from falling down the stairs, and using electrical outlet covers to prevent an electrical shock.

Safe Kids Connecticut wants to encourage parents and caregivers of children five and younger to conduct a safety check of their homes to make sure that their televisions and furniture are safely secured. This will help to ensure the safety of your children in your home. To learn more, visit www.ctsafekids.org.