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Childproofing 101: How to avoid getting tipsy at home

Television sets probably aren’t on your list of dangers in the home, right?

Unless, of course, you count growing bellies, unfinished homework, and calloused gaming fingers as possible risks…

And yet, those modern gadgets send thousands of children to the hospital every year. It isn’t because children are watching tv, but rather because television sets are tipping over on them.

The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that nearly 15,000 children visit emergency rooms every year because of injuries caused by overturned furniture. Most of those injuries happened at home, involving children younger than 7.

So how do those injuries happen? Generally, they come from climbing. Children spot a toy atop a dresser or bookshelf and decide to monkey their way to it. The unfortunate result is that the child’s weight tips the furniture over.

When it comes to television sets – which constitute about half of all injuries – the problem usually comes from oversized screens being placed on tables or cabinets that can’t support them.

But, here’s the good news: A relatively small percentage of children die from these accidents. Nationwide Children’s Hospital logged 300 deaths between 1990 and 2007. In contrast, 264,200 children were treated for injuries.

So, what can you do to keep your children safe. Here are some tips we found from Parenthood.com.

  • Fasten large pieces of furniture to the wall using brackets or straps. An alternative is putting towels or wedges beneath the front legs of a dresser or bookshelf to shift the weight to the back.
  • Remove toys and other enticing objects from the top of your furniture. The goal is to take away the temptation that may cause your child to climb.
  • Make sure your television is mounted on an appropriate stand. You also may want to consider securing your set with a strap or fastener.
  • Install drawer stops on large pieces of furniture that keep drawers from sliding more than two-thirds of the way out. When drawers are over-extended, the weight may cause the furniture to tip.

Got some ideas of your own? We’d love to hear them. It’s all about keeping our children safe.

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