Long Branch, NJ – The Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, a Barnabas Health facility, and the National Safe Kids Campaign are warning parents, guardians and families of young children of the dangers of furniture tip-overs in the home.
“Whether you have a baby learning to stand, an unsteady toddler trying to climb or a fearless preschooler who still doesn't quite understand balance, furniture tip-overs are a real danger for kids,” said Meg Fisher, M.D., chair of pediatrics and medical director of The Children’s Hospital at Monmouth. “Regardless of your child's abilities and limitations, top-heavy furniture, TVs and appliances can tip over and seriously injure young children.”
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that between 2000 and 2010, there were at least 245 deaths related to tip-overs of furniture, televisions or appliances among children ages 8 years and under. Ninety percent of those deaths involved children younger than 6. CPSC data also shows that in between 2008 and 2010, there were 22,000 injuries associated with product instability or tip-overs involving children younger than 9.
“There are many easy-to-install devices that anchor furniture to the wall, making furniture more stable and tip-over resistant. These devices are designed for dressers, wall units and anything your little explorer might try to climb,” said Dr. Fisher.
Safety tips to help prevent tip-over hazards include:
•If a piece of furniture is unstable or top-heavy, secure it to a stud in the wall using brackets, braces, anchors or wall straps. Large items such as TVs, microwaves, fish tanks, bookcases, heavy furniture and appliances can topple off stands and fall on children.
•If you have a newer, flat screen TV, make sure it's properly anchored to the wall.
•Read the manufacturer's instructions for tips or warnings regarding placement of your TV or furniture.
•Keep heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers.
•Don't keep remote controls, candy, toys or other items that attract children on top of furniture, as your child might be enticed to reach for these items.
•Supervise young children at all times.
The Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center leads Monmouth County’s first and only chapter of the National Safe Kids Campaign — a nationwide initiative to prevent injuries and save young lives. The county-based chapter is among more than 500 grassroots partnerships throughout the United States associated with Safe Kids, the first nonprofit organization dedicated solely to the prevention of unintentional childhood injury or accidents — the number one killer of children age 14 and under.
In addition to The Children’s Hospital at Monmouth, the Safe Kids Monmouth County Chapter also partners with the Long Branch Police Department, Long Branch Public School System, Long Branch Department of Recreation and the Coastal Monmouth Alliance for the Prevention of Substance Abuse.
Through Monmouth’s Community Health Education Department, The Children’s Hospital regularly sponsors activities to educate parents, caregivers and children about safety and how simple behavior modifications can prevent needless tragedies.
For more information on Safe Kids’ Monmouth County Chapter, call the Community Health Education Department at Monmouth Medical Center at 732-923-6990. For more information on Safe Kids, visit www.usa.safekids.org.