The Ikea furniture recall after 6 child deaths is an important reminder that we must consider safety when it comes to all household furniture – not just chests and dressers. In an effort to ensure that your home doesn’t have hidden dangers, here are some furniture safety tips for families with small children.
Anchor Bureaus, Chests, and Dressers
We might as well start with the pieces that triggered the recall. Make sure to secure these top-heavy furniture items to the wall using safety anchors. It’s as simple as a visit to the local hardware store to purchase and install. Some furniture retailers actually provide these kits for free. This effective safety measure will prevent the furniture from tipping when the drawers are open or when a child hangs on the front of it. Concerned about damage to walls? No need to worry – whether you are a renter or owner, you can always patch up the holes later (kits are available for that as well).
Secure Stove Doors
Yes, there are more than just burning or scalding injuries to worry about when it comes to your oven or stove. These appliances can also topple over – especially with a curious young climber pulling at the door. You’ll want to put safety latches on the door to avoid this tipping hazard.
Whether you have a flat screen or freestanding television, you’ll want to make sure that it is properly secured. Be sure to mount flat screens to the wall or the supporting furniture to prevent toppling. Keep in mind that all televisions should only be placed on furniture designed to hold a TV (rather than placing on a makeshift stand) and those TV-appropriate pieces should be anchored to the wall as well.
Avoid Makeshift Stands
Similar to TVs – placing other appliances on the proper furniture is essential to maintaining safety. Avoid using any makeshift stands or foldout tables that are less sturdy and more prone to tipping from excess weight. These items were not designed to carry the extra burden and are accidents waiting to happen.
Test the Security of Your Furniture
As we alluded to before, children like to climb and scale things. Look around the house for potential hazards. Anything with a ledge for kids to stand on should receive particularly close attention. This includes book cases, chairs, and other common household items. Test the safety of furniture based on weight and pressure at the different points/heights.
Register your Items!
Most household items come with registration cards provided by the manufacturer. This allows them to track warranties and also to notify you in case of safety recalls. Make a point to register all of your furniture items.
More Furniture Safety Tips for Families with Small Children
Children see the world differently and from a lower vantage point than adults. Explore the world from their level to identify additional hazards in your home. This simple exercise can help you address safety hazards and make your home safer for the little ones! The above furniture safety tips for families with small children are just a few common examples to help you improve the safety in your home.