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Furniture Safety for Kids

Pillow Fort Kid

As an indispensable part of our daily lives, household furniture is so familiar to us that it we take it for granted. Everything from couches to cupboards as well as various appliances provide comfort and convenience in our homes and offices; yet along with this utility comes potential risk. While we don't normally think about it, furniture and heavy appliances like televisions can pose a danger to children and adults if not properly secured.

Let's start with your couch and your bed: are they fire retardant? A recently revised California law still dictates that upholstered furniture be composed of fire-retardant material, and for good reason. Furniture made with non-fire-retardant materials can contain chemicals that ignite upon exposure to extreme heat, which means that it will catch fire and burn with terrible speed. Over decades beds, pillows, and couches made of such compounds have been the cause of tragedies that affect families irreversibly. So double-check your furniture to make sure it meets fire safety standards.

Moving on to your shelves, cupboards, and appliances, one of the most important measures you can take is to ensure that all of these items are securely fastened to the walls. Shelves, dressers, and cupboards pose a danger for children, who are at risk both due to their smaller size and their propensity to climb on furniture. Tell your child that the furniture is off-limits, but also make certain that proper safeguards are in place to prevent it from toppling over:

  • Install brackets, braces, or wall stops to secure furniture to the wall.
  • Install stops on dresser drawers to prevent them coming all the way out. This can help a dresser from tipping.
  • Keep your heavy items on lower shelves to better distribute weight.
  • Don't place items like toys or remote controls in high places - children will be tempted to climb to retrieve them, greatly increasing the risk of injury.
  • Falling TVs pose a special danger, killing around one child a week. Secure your television to the wall. If you have a large older-style TV, place it firmly on low, stable furniture where there is less risk of tip-over.

Source: Safe Kids

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