Two toddlers died after they pulled a heavy dresser onto themselves over the holiday weekend. Their father reported that he was preparing a bath when he heard a loud boom, and found his two little girls, 2-year-old Brooklyn and 3-year-old Ryeley pinned under the heavy piece of furniture. Brooklyn died Friday, and Ryeley passed away just two days later.
Unfortunately, this tale is not an uncommon one — a report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission outlines just how often tip-over accidents happen. It happens more often than you may think. The most common item to fall or be pulled over are televisions, as Isvi Cienfuegos learned when her 2-year-old son, Ozzie, died after the family's TV fell on him. Dressers and other heavy furniture are also common culprits, and even large appliances, such as refrigerators and stoves can be pulled over by your tiniest household members.
Take a moment and look at what dangers are lurking in your own home.
Evaluate your home for potential danger areas. Your stove may not look like it can fall on your child, but if your child opens the oven door and climbs on it, it can upset the balance and tip over quite easily. The same can be said of dressers or any other large pieces of furniture that have drawers or doors that open. Picture a child scaling up one of these items and you can see how these tragic accidents happen.
Most furniture items come with a small anchor or brace that you can install to help prevent tip-over accidents. Don't be tempted to just toss it in the garbage — if you're not sure you can attach it, get help. If your chest of drawers is a hand-me-down or from a thrift store, you can purchase anchors at a juvenile products or hardware store.
Parents have a tendency to focus on furniture in the child's bedroom (which is eventually a place she will play unsupervised). Don't forget that she will be living and moving about your home just like you do. Your bookshelves and your own furniture may be targets for her adventures as well. Also, take care to stabilize your televisions and other large appliances. You can purchase an anti-tipping device for just about anything in your home.
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