The Consumer Product Safety Commission continues its campaign to increase public awareness of child safety and accident prevention caused by furniture falling over. It isn’t hard to understand why when you consider that 200 children have lost their lives in tip-over incidents in the last 10 years and 1000’s more have required hospital treatment for “furniture tip-over” accidents. Furniture or household appliances falling over, and hurting children, is referred to as a “tip-over.”
It is common for toddlers learning to walk and move about to use furniture and other household items to pull themselves up. Youngsters are also fond of climbing. Today’s big screen televisions and other oversized household furnishings are a common cause of tip-over accidents and child injury.
Here are some preventative measures to help prevent tip-over injuries:
- Brackets and furniture straps – many furniture items can be secured using wall straps and brackets. When installed properly, they are not visible from the front. A word of caution, however; straps and brackets are intended as a safety measure. Using them does not render the furniture safe for climbing. Furniture from retailers such as Ikea, come with the tools you need to mount furniture on the wall to prevent tip-over accidents.
- Electronic remote controls – game console and television remotes are best left within easy reach of young hands if children are permitted to use them. Placing them out of reach is an invitation for them to climb.
- Television placement – televisions have increased in size in recent years. Avoid placing units on flimsy unstable furniture children can climb and pull over on top of themselves. Placement near ground level is safer, or wall mounting is a solution as long as proper installation safety recommendations are followed, including strapping. Make sure a wall mounted TV is placed high enough it is out of reach of small children.
Hopefully these tips will help you avoid child injury caused by tip-over accidents. Many of the child injury accidents that occur each year are completely avoidable simply by using basic common sense, recommended safety tips, and preventable measures. If an injury does occur, however, and it is the fault of another person or a company’s product, you should seek the advice of a qualified Portland injury attorney.