Host Amy Kehm’s daughter, Clara, recently turned one year old. She is on the move and on the climb, often looking up for exploration. Going up means that Amy and her husband have locked things down, securing furniture to the wall to prevent toppling.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), every 24 minutes, tipped furniture or a tipped TV sends a child to the emergency room and, on average, one child dies every two weeks when a TV or piece of furniture falls on them.
“We have so many things that have been drummed into our heads for so many years about keeping our kitchen cabinets locked, about putting gates over stairways when we have young children,” said the CPSC’s Marietta S. Robinson. “But we don’t even think about the furniture being dangerously unstable and a lot of it is.”
Furniture may topple with or without a TV on top, but the CPSC notes that a TV shifts the center of gravity of a dresser or bookshelf making them more unstable. The force at which a television crushes a child is great.
“It’s absolutely amazing, even with a flat screen, that you have 2000 pounds of pressure that falls on a child. And if you’ve got one of those old, heavy CRT’s, it can be as much as 12,000 pounds,” said Robinson. “So you understand that if this happens, and it can happen in split second, the child is typically either going to be killed or very, very seriously injured.”
A a 2015 Safe Kids Worldwide research report showed that 42% percent of parents in the survey said they had found their child climbing on bureaus, dressers, bookshelves or counters. Still, the same survey showed that 48% percent of parents said they had not secured TVs and furniture to prevent them from tipping over.
“It tells us we have some more to do in terms of letting parents know about this danger,” noted Safe Kids Pennsylvania Consultant Allyson Fulton.
She noted that children age five and under are at most risk of injury and death.
On Good Day PA, Fulton showed two options for securing TV’s starting with utilizing screw holes on the back of the TV, there for this purpose. Sanus offers kits catered to each different TV type that includes a template and hardware. There are kits for mounting TV’s to a wall and also kits for mounting directly to furniture if you do not or cannot put holes into your wall. The latter is a good option for renters.
Amy and her husband used a Hangman Furniture Anti Tip Kit for two bookshelves that they purchased at Home Depot.