Here’s How an Inexpensive Home Fix Could Potentially Save Your Child’s Life
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When I became a mother, I made sure to buy electrical outlet protectors so my little girl wouldn’t accidentally get electrocuted and dresser child-locks so she wouldn’t get into cleaning chemicals or other potentially harmful items.
But I didn’t think about anchoring down furniture.
What adults see as a dresser or bookshelf, a toddler may see as a fun climbing obstacle. But furniture that isn’t properly stabilized and secured can lead to serious injury or even death.
A child is injured every 30 minutes in the United States from a piece of furniture or television tipping over, according to an article from AAP Voices, the official blog of the American Academy of Pediatrics. That adds up to an average of 33,000 emergency room visits every year.
Even worse, a kid dies from furniture tip-over injuries roughly once every two weeks.
We’ve all heard the stories. In this one, a dresser toppled over on a 2-year-old boy after he and his twin brother attempted to climb it. The twin ended up heroically saving his brother and neither sustained major injuries. But not all incidents end as fortunately.
Luckily, Dr. Lois Lee, who serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine, shares some tips on how to avoid these 100% preventable injuries and deaths.
And since we’re Penny Hoarders, the good news is most of this advice is relatively inexpensive to implement — and certainly much cheaper than an emergency room visit.
- Use furniture straps to anchor dressers, bookshelves and other furniture to the wall. If your furniture didn’t come with them, you can buy them at hardware stores, baby supply stores or online. An eight-pack set of these straps is on sale for less than $20 on Amazon.
- Secure TVs to dressers or TV stands. These flat-screen anchors are on sale for $12.90 on Amazon.
- Install dresser stops or locks on drawers so kids can’t pull them out and use them as steps to climb up. This set of six locks is $10.99 on Amazon.
- Keep toys, remote controls or other items that attract your child off high levels where they may be enticed to climb up to reach them.
See here for more advice.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission also has a website called Anchor It, which shares more invaluable advice on the subject. Meghan’s Hope is another resource that spreads awareness on the topic.
Another option is to go the route of forgoing dressers in favor of hanging clothes in closets and ditching television sets and instead streaming services on your favorite mobile devices. That’s what my life looks like right now.
Making sacrifices to make sure your kid is safe is just part of a parent’s job. The peace of mind you get from avoiding the dangers you do have control over is worth every penny.
Disclosure: A toast to savings! Thanks for allowing us to place affiliate links in this post.
Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. The video footage of the dresser falling over on the two-year-old boys made her cry and want to bolt down every thing her daughter comes into contact with.