Many parents don’t realize just how dangerous falling objects can be. Around 16,000 kids were hospitalized in 2006 from falling objects. Between 2000 and 2006, there were at least 134 child deaths from falling televisions and TV stands alone, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Put in perspective, this makes the television in your home around 40 times more likely to kill your child than any registered sex offenders living in the neighborhood, which parents seem to spend a disproportionate amount of time worrying about.
Protecting children from falling objects
- Go throughout your house and press down while pulling on different fixtures that are within a child’s reach, testing how they might handle a child pulling or climbing on them. This includes things like stoves, bookshelves, refrigerators, etc. If they wiggle or start to topple over, they pose a serious danger to children. Find a way to secure them. Remember that children hang, pull, and swing on things all the time, so you don’t want anything in the house that could topple under this stress.
- Secure all large bookshelves to the wall, and make sure you affix them to studs.
- Bolt TV’s down to something so they can’t fall over.
- Another commonly overlooked source of minor injuries (but ones serious enough to warrant E.R. trips) is picture frames and paintings that fall onto kids. Children often roughhouse, and they might bump a wall and cause something to fall. A falling picture frame my not seem like much, but it can open up a nasty gash in a child’s head that will require stitches. Walk around your house and give your walls a good shake by hitting them with a couch cushion underneath any paintings or picture frames. If they fall, you need to secure them better.
- Don’t store heavy appliances such as radios or CD players on high shelves where they could fall onto a child’s head.