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Have no regrets. Anchor and protect!

NSW Fair trading recently shared a video encouraging parents to take steps to prevent unstable furniture and TVs from toppling over and crushing a child.

Toppling furniture kills at least one child a year in Australia.

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I am re-sharing the video below which originated in the US. It highlights how shockingly easy it is for a toddler to be killed while they innocently play around the home.

US figures show one child a fortnight dies from a falling TV, piece of furniture or appliance falling on top of them.

Each year in Australia around 300 children go to hospital as the result of being injured by a falling television, and that figure is continuing to rise.

If you have new furniture or a new TV on the wish list this Christmas. Make sure you install it with safety in mind.

Ashley Martin, public health project manager from RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) urges all stockists of safety equipment to make anti-tip straps easily available, so that parents can fit them to televisions and other bulky furniture in order to secure the items in an upright position.

“Safety straps can also be bought to secure televisions that are on bookshelves and on top of cupboards,” he says.

“As well as having a television set professionally installed, RoSPA also advises that free-standing, flat-screen televisions are placed on wide, stable manufacturers’ bases, which reduce the risk of the screen toppling forwards.

“Children and toddlers should be discouraged from pulling themselves up by holding on to a television set or furniture on which a television sits.

“They should also be kept out of the way of bulky, heavy goods as they are being moved.”

Why the rise in injuries and deaths?

Kidsafe suggests that the rise in the figure is linked to the introduction of flat-screen TVs, not because flat-screens are dangerous but because older (and heavier) televisions are being moved into bedrooms where they are more likely to be sitting on furniture that isn’t designed to take the weight or dimensions of a large, front-heavy TV.

You can keep your kids safe by:
•Using brackets fixed to the wall to mount or house your TV.
•Keep cords out of reach so kids can’t pull on them and risk pulling the television down on themselves.
•If you house your TV in or on a piece of furniture, ensure that it is purpose-built so that it is sturdy enough not to topple over.
•Test the stability of your television yourself – if you can push your TV over then your kids will be able too.

Has this video made you review how your furniture and appliances are secured at home? Please don’t take the risk.

Share your thoughts below.

  • I had a wardrobe fall on me when I was eight. Luckily I was uninjured.

    Reply

  • We rent our house and are not allowed to anchor furniture or tv’s in the wall !
    This is a daily concern of me as we have a very inquisitive 3 year old with Down syndrome, who doesn’t listen to well yet to instructions.
    She already broke 3 of our tv’s and regularly pulls gas heaters and cupboards from the wall. One time our bookcase fell an inch away from her after she tried to climb it. Very very scary !!

    Reply

  • Anchoring is good common sense and does save lives.

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  • So many things can go wrong indeed. Anchoring furniture is so important and such an easy thing to do to protect our small kids.

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  • The first thing we did when we bought our house was build in wardrobes. Way more storage space and so much safer.

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  • Definitely good to baby proof your home and think about the larger picture

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  • Not just children.
    My dad who had gone blind and was in the last stage of Parkinson Disease actually pulled over a TV that was sitting on a table next to him in the nursing home. Luckily he was not hurt but the TV did not fair as well. Needless to say the nursing home was quite apologetic and embarrassed as he was supposed to be in a safe haven. It just shows that prevention is the best medicine.


    • I agree – advice that applies to all ages. Glad your dad was not injured.

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  • This sort of thing happens too often.

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  • We have a very heavy solid television cupboard and anchored or tv in it. But just some weeks ago our very strong toddler with Down Syndrome managed to work the television of the cupboard !! It fell down just beside her. The television was no more, but luckily our toddler was unharmed !

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  • Great tips to keep your toddlers safe.

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  • timely reminder to check things are safe

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  • I know a girl who as a toddler got up one morning and her Mum didn’t hear her until she woke up to a very loud bang. The Mum raced out of bed not even properly awake to fin her daughter under a dresser partly trapped in a drawer. Although those drawers were/ in fact still aren’t easy to pull out she managed to pull it out far enough to try to climb into it. It was the 2nd to bottom drawer, luckily not a top one. She knocked herself unconscious and was taken to hospital. Miracle- she didn’t have concussion. I have my TV anchored to a entertainment cabinet which is anchored to the wall.

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  • It’s so scary as it’s often things you wouldn’t really think of until something awful happens

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  • A great reminder to always have safety at front of mind. It is scary to think what the consequences might be.

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  • This is so scary and can happen at anytime. We once walked in to find our toilet trying to climb tall boy and hubby and I both freaked out. The following morning, hubby went and purchased anchors (from baby bunting) and secured it to the stud in wall and the back of tall boy. We are so thankful that we walked into his room when we did.

    Reply

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