Imagine the horror of a mother who comes to check on her napping toddler, only to find him crushed beneath a six-drawer dresser that had toppled over.
Sadly, the incident that took the life of 22-month-old Ted McGee wasn’t just a one-in-a-million tragedy.
Falling furniture – especially dressers and television sets – result in the death of at least two children a month and injures an estimated 25,000 every year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Falling furniture can injure or kill your child!
But it wasn’t until Ikea announced a recent recall of 29 million unstable chests and dressers that this hazard began to get widespread attention. In fact, a warning of a tip-over problem with unsecured Ikea dressers, which had already killed two other children, was issued last summer by both the company and the CPSC, but the McGee family was unaware of it.
So what can you do to protect your own kids or grandkids against the danger of such an accident?
4 tips that could save the life of a child you love
Some of the precautions recommended by safety experts include:
- Anchoring any heavy pieces of furniture, such as a dresser or bookcase, to an adjoining wall, using studs.
- Placing TV sets on low cabinets or stands specifically designed to accommodate them rather than on bureaus, where a study has found they pose a hazard of falling and causing serious head injuries. (And even when in a stand, a TV should not be too close to the edge.)
- Using drawer stops to keep dresser drawers from being pulled out all the way and falling on a child.
- Keeping things like toys and remote controls off the tops of furniture where a child might try to reach for them, as well as keeping electrical cords that can become entangled in furniture safely hidden.
If you have any chests or dressers from Ikea, you should check its website to see if anything in your home is involved in the current recall. If so, the company is offering partial and full refunds, as well as wall-anchoring repair kits.
Don’t get caught off-guard!
According to USA Today, only 10 percent of recalled kid’s products are ever returned or repaired. So you don’t get caught off guard like countless other parents or grandparents have it’s a good idea to stay informed on product recalls, especially those that could affect the kids in your life.
A good place to start is the Recent Recalls page at the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. You can even sign up for emailed alerts, download a widget to your phone or follow them on Twitter so you don’t miss any important recalls that could affect you or your family.
The Safe Kids website is a great resource for getting information on recalls that are child specific. You can sign up to receive recalls by email or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.
Environmental Working Group:
While the EWG doesn’t specialize in product recalls specifically, they’re an excellent resource for information on consumer products that could be risky for you, your family or the environment.