The Importance of Anchoring Your Furniture!

Did you baby-proof your home? I normally hate to overstep and tell a mom how to parent, but below is an email I received a few months ago from my friend about baby-proofing: a large bureau dresser fell on her son. A lot of times we (read: I) view these stories as examples of neglect, but I have known this friend for several years and she is a diligent, involved, aware mother who never leaves her kids unattended. She’s an ER provider and has seen the worst.

Thankfully her son is ok, but it made me rethink ALL of my reasons for not fully baby-proofing by anchoring some of our furniture (in our house, all furniture in kids’ rooms are anchored but not in our guest or master bedrooms because we were afraid of holes in the walls or wanting to move the furniture around eventually). When we think of baby-proofing, most of us think of outlet covers and door/drawer locks, but it is so much more than that!

Baby-Proofing: The Importance of Anchoring Your Furniture

Remember that it is not always about weight, but about physics, angles, weight distribution, what’s on top, and whether it has drawers/doors. Children don’t understand why they can open one drawer but not all drawers. It also doesn’t have to be a large or heavy piece of furniture to crush a windpipe. A small side table can be enough if it falls the right way.

This is less about watching your kid at all times. We can say we will never let that happen, but the reality is that’s a false sense of security and we need to be one step ahead wherever possible. Play dates, baby sitters, pets, siblings, all of these can be things that would throw off the “norm” and may pose an unforeseen risk. Babyproofing before you need to, or before an unfortunate accident occurs, is the best line of defense against preventable accidents. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve read where a mom’s child was trapped under furniture who said they never thought it could happen to them, and by the time it does often it’s too late.

I wanted to share with you guys something that happened this weekend so you can childproof your furniture if you haven’t already.

My 2 1/2-year-old got pinned between our very large/very heavy bureau and our bed. I am so THANKFUL our bed helped break the fall! I would NEVER have thought to anchor this piece of furniture down because it is MASSIVE (unlike his lighter-weight and easily moveable bookshelves, changing table, etc). He wasn’t climbing on it, either! He was just opening all the drawers and must have tugged on one and it was enough for it to fall over. So, if you have any question/concern–anchor the big stuff!

Amazon has falling furniture prevention. Links to anti-tip kits:

My toddler only has some bruises and abrasions and is FINE. It could have been a lot worse. Luckily, I was 3 feet away in the bathroom and my husband was down the hall. I was able to try to take some of the weight off him as I frantically called for him to come help move it. Scariest moment I’ve had thus far as a mom…don’t let it happen to your sweet babes.

If your child attends an in-home daycare or visits with grandparents, you might politely share this with them too—you can never be too safe, and the risk is too great for any minor inconvenience installing it might pose.

Again, thankfully her son was ok, but inconvenience, future moving/rearranging, and uncertainty of decor are all not good reasons to avoid anchoring furniture with a proper anti-tip kit. These take mere minutes to install, and can save a child’s life. You can’t put a price on that.  These are types of preventable accidents and depending on our kid or house setup can lead us into a false sense of security. This isn’t something that kids necessarily grow out of so just because you have a 4 year old or 7 year old as your youngest, you might still want to consider the benefits of anti-tip kits.

While we’re at it remember to keep the strings from blinds coiled up high and out of reach. They are attractive for newly crawling babies and young toddlers and can pose a strangulation risk. I have these and they’re super easy: A 3M hook up high is another easy and cheap solution that won’t ruin your paint.

Be safe, and please share!