As a grandma, I have a fear of something...well, when I think about it, I probably have a fear of a lot of things when it comes to my grandbabies, but today I want to talk about something in particular: tipping furniture.
The fact of the matter is most furniture is not made for climbing. But that doesn't stop curious toddlers or determined preschoolers. That's what concerns me. My youngest daughter was a climber and I'm often amazed she lived long enough to bless me with my first grandchild! When you discover 15,000 children end up in the ER each year after a piece of household furniture comes toppling down on them, it kind of makes my concern a bit valid. Not that I sit around worrying about it, but I am hoping my daughters will read this and do whatever's necessary to make their homes safe from this kind of tragedy.
For kids under the age of 10, the biggest danger is the television (in more ways than one). Gary Smith, M.D., director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio tells parents (and grandparents, for that matter) to place their televisions on something low and wide. You want to push the TV back as far as you can, then strap it to the stand. You can also check out wall mounting kits at your local hardware store. And remember to put the remote controls in a safe place. Kids love to play with remotes and many of us keep them on top of our televisions. Not a good idea, folks. That's simply an invitation to climb for your little ones. In the same way, don't put their favorite toys on the top of their bookshelf!
Ideally, you want to purchase some metal L-brackets or safety straps and secure all furniture that measures over 30" tall to the wall. You can check out Furniture Wall Straps from Safety 1st, available at retail stores and online at babyearth.com.
Another issue for intuitive climbers is furniture with drawers, as kids will figure out how to make a staircase out of the drawers so they can climb up. Avoid the possibility of a dresser falling on top of your child by installing drawer stops so the drawers can't be opened far enough to cause a topple.
A little preparation translates into a whole lot of protection for the little ones who light up our lives.
Keeping it safe,