Children often allow their imaginations to run wild when they play. Whether it’s embarking on a jungle expedition or avoiding hot lava from an erupting volcano, many of these playful situations involve climbing pieces of furniture, such as couches and even dressers.
Unfortunately, falling furniture is a common cause of child injuries and deaths in the United States. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 43,000 people suffer injuries each year due to furniture tipping over—with over 25,000 (59 percent) of those involving children under 18 years of age. When it comes to small children, falling dressers and televisions can cause serious injuries from being crushed by a piece of furniture or trapped under its weight.
Parents typically do not allow their kids to climb on furniture; however, accidents still occur. That is why safeguarding the family home from these accidents by taking several measures can protect your children from these tragic accidents.
The following are effective ways to protect your children from falling furniture:
- Purchase stable furniture – Ensure the furniture you buy and use consists of quality and sturdy materials. Do not purchase anything that may potentially break if your child attempts to climb it.
- Anchor furniture – In preventing all furniture from completely toppling over is to anchor them either to the wall or floor. Install braces, brackets, or wall stops to secure furniture to the wall. In regard to dresser drawers, install stops to prevent them from coming out all the way, which can also prevent a dress from tipping. To improve weight distribution, keep heavy items on lower shelves.
- Use appropriate furniture to place television set – There are pieces of furniture meant to support televisions. If you place a television on top of unstable furniture, this could create a hazardous condition.
- Secure television – Be mindful of how your television is placed, despite having the right type of furniture. The television must be pushed back away from the edge as far as it can be. For added security, anchor it to the wall.
- Do not place toys on top of high places – Besides using their imagination, kids often climb furniture to get a hold of toys and other tempting items such as remotes. Remove such items from high places to eliminate a child’s urge to climb furniture to retrieve them.
- Keep cords out of reach – Make sure cords from televisions and other appliances are out of sight and/or stapled to the wall to prevent children from pulling them down or accidentally tripping over them.
If your child’s injuries were caused by the negligence of the furniture manufacturer or retailer, you may be eligible to file a product liability claim against the liable parties. Parents may recover damages to pay for medical expenses as well as pain and suffering.