2 Your Health: Your Furniture Could Kill Your Child

Did you ding a good deal on a piece of furniture or a TV? Be sure to pick up some anchoring devices before you allow your child to be near it.

Every two weeks a child is killed when an unstable TV or large piece of furniture tips over according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

"There can be very serious injuries if a piece of furniture or television hits a child on the head or neck," says Kim Giuliano, MD, a pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic Children's.

These injuries can have really significant impact neurologically on a child and in some cases may result in permanent defects or even fatalities.

Recent research looking at toppling TV's shows 84 percent of injuries happened inside the home and three-quarters were not witnessed by caregivers.

Televisions were often large and propped up on dressers or other furniture, which puts toddlers at greatest risk for injuries because they tend to be curious by nature and climb on things.

To avoid these potentially fatal hazards, take these tips into account:

  • Secure tall dressers, bookcases and cabinets to the wall
  • Keep the area around a tall piece of furniture clear

Securing furniture to the wall is relatively simple. Take these steps:

  1. Find "L" hooks at any hardware store.
  2. Measure the height of your furniture, mark it on the wall.
  3. Secure the "L" hooks to the wall.
  4. Position your furniture up against the wall.
  5. Screw the top of the "L" hook into the furniture.

Leaving items like remote controls and toys in places where kids could be tempted to climb on top of something or use them as stairs is also a risk.

Dr. Giuliano recommends anchoring a large TV as well.

"Really the best thing is to make sure the television is secured to the wall or tethered down to a piece of furniture so that it can't physically come off of it, " Dr. Giuliano says.


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