Keeping Kids Safe Around Large Furniture

As a parent, it’s important to remember that some of the biggest safety risks for kids happen inside the home. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, every 24 minutes a falling piece of furniture or a TV sends an injured child to the emergency room. When you’re at the playground, you constantly think about the safety of your children and watch them to make sure they don’t get themselves hurt. At home, it’s harder to monitor your children every second. Kids are often inclined to scramble up and down furniture like monkeys at the zoo, which can seem cute but can actually be very dangerous.

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However, there are things parents can do to keep kids safe and protect them from accidents involving large furniture. Here are five tips to make your home safer for your little ones:

1. Check to make sure your furniture meets the proper safety standards

Parents can visit ASTM International’s website to see if their furniture meets the regulated safety standards. ASTM International ensures safety measures for thousands of products, including children’s toys. However, not all children’s furniture meets these standards set by ASTM. Parents should check the website before purchasing any type of furniture for their home.

2. Buy anti-tip safety brackets and wall straps

There are a variety of safety brackets, wall mounts and anti-tip devices that parents can get to secure large furniture pieces, TVs and other items in your home. Many home stores and online retailers sell tip resistance kits that have everything you need to anchor a dresser, chest or bookshelf to the wall. It’s recommended that parents also secure tables to the wall as well, as children could climb on top of a table and then fall off if it starts to wobble.

3. Avoid placing toys and heavy items high-up on taller pieces of furniture

Many furniture accidents occur when a child tries to reach for a toy or other item that attracts their attention on a high shelf. Heavier items should be placed near the ground and keep toys either out of the way in a storage cabinet, or at a child’s level. One easy way to assess the safety risks in your home is to get on the floor or crouch down as though you’re the same height as your kid. This way you can look up and see any potential safety dangers from a child’s point of view.

4. Research the chemicals and finishes used on your kid’s furniture

Believe it or not, the furniture in your home can contribute to indoor pollution. Some of the wood finishes and other chemicals that furniture is treated with can be harmful to your kid’s health. These chemicals can potentially have an impact on different health problems for kids, like allergies and asthma. Seek out retailers that sell kids only furniture, which are crafted without these harmful chemicals or finishes. There are furniture companies that manufacture pieces that have been screened for a variety of chemicals and organic compounds, which can especially have an effect on babies and young children.

5. Baby-proof your home with edge and corner guards for furniture

Corner guards are an inexpensive way to keep your baby or toddler from getting hurt by running into the sharp edge of a piece of furniture. As most furniture items don’t have rounded corners, parents should place edge guards or table cushions on these pieces throughout their home, especially when they have a newborn or young child. Many of these corner cushions are removable, so that your furniture doesn’t become scratched or devalued over time.

Take safety steps today before an accident occurs

In the home, furniture accidents involving kids are preventable. Often, these accidents occur because a piece of furniture isn’t secured properly or a child tries to climb a dresser or shelf to reach a toy. Sometimes, these incidents happen because the furniture in the home wasn’t very safe for kids to begin with. However, so many of these accidents can be averted before they happen. With a few simple changes, parents can keep their kids safe from harm inside the home and ensure that any type of incident involving large furniture doesn’t occur.

About Author:

Carolyn Clarke is an interior design blogger and a proud mother of four based in Portland, Oregon. When she isn’t chasing her kids around the house, she enjoys exploring the Oregonian wilderness with her black lab, Lacy.

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