Hazards could be hiding in plain sight in your home, especially if you have small children.
According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, between 2000 and 2006, 134 child deaths were reported due to furniture and appliances falling over. These deaths and new safety standards adopted by the agency have prompted the commission to issue new guidelines to help consumers make their household items more secure.
Furniture and appliance-related injuries and deaths could result when kids climb, fall on or pull on televisions and other appliances, TV stands, shelves, dressers and other furniture. In 2006 alone, 16,300 children aged 5 and younger were treated in emergency rooms due these injuries.
“The most devastating injuries that we see resulting from furniture tipping on children are injuries to the brain and when a child is trapped under a heavy piece of furniture and suffocates,” said Dr. Gary Smith, Director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio in a press release.
Here are a few ways the CPSC recommends that consumers secure their furniture and appliances:
• Furniture should be stable on its own. For added security, anchor chests or dressers, TV stands, bookcases and entertainment units to the floor or attach them to a wall.
• Place TVs on a sturdy, low-rise base. Avoid flimsy shelves.
• Push your TV as far back against a wall as possible.
• Place electrical cords out of a child’s reach, and teach kids not to play with them.
• Keep remote controls and other attractive items off the TV stand so kids won’t be tempted to grab for them and risk knocking the TV over.
• Make sure free-standing ranges and stoves are installed with anti-tip brackets.