June 29th, 2016

planet

Prevent tipping accidents - anchor furniture around kids!

I read that IKEA is recalling dressers because people don't anchor them to walls and the dressers fall over and crush little kids, and wanted to write this post about my feelings, and I hope it gets shared a bit.

The IKEA recall is a step, but recalls aren't 100% complied with and IKEA is only one company. The page Meghan's Hope reported this year that 70 kids a DAY are injured or even killed by falling furniture. The founders of Safe and Sound with Amaya said in an interview that a fatal accident occurs every 9-11 days. Similar statistics get posted in places like Kate's Foundation for Child Safety, Brace It For Brayden, Curren Collas Our Blue Eyed Hero... on and on and on.

It's not just IKEA furniture - it's everybody's furniture, dressers, shelves, TVs. How many of you know a family that experienced one of these accidents? And from what I've read, the injuries could have been prevented by just securing furniture to a wall so it wouldn't tip over.

A few years ago I read another sad toddler death story on Facebook, looked around, and realized that I had furniture anchor kits just laying around in the dresser drawers they came with, doing no good. I also looked at my nutball acrobat of a 2yo and realized she was definitely a candidate to be the next Facebook memorial page. So I stood up. I got my drill and a stud finder, went around and secured everything I could find in the house.

Are my kiddos 100% safe in the world now? Oh gosh no! The world is scary and dang it these kids have no sense of self-preservation, I am still worried sick! But at least I did one little easy thing to make them less likely to be killed by falling furniture.

What was stopping me?

I thought I might want to rearrange the furniture someday.

Didn't feel like looking for the drill.

I was on Facebook.

I wondered if my husband could get around to it.

Those excuses might sound funny and relatable but if an accident happened, and I was in the ER with my baby, THEN which of those excuses would make sense?

NONE OF THEM.

So here's my campaign: I don't want anything to stop any of my friends from having furniture secured to the wall. Need a drill? Borrow mine! Not handy? I can help you! Can't make the time? Let's set an appointment together to hold each other accountable! I'll bring the hardware, you bring the chardonnay, it's a date! I am not a professional childproofer. But DIY wall anchors have been shown to prevent accidents so let's take this step together as a start, shall we?

As moms we talk about all kinds of things. We know which of our friends breastfed for two years, who feeds their kid all organic foods, who will lend us a Baby Bjorn to compare to our Ergo. But when do we sit around the table and ask who's got their cordless screwdriver charged up to anchor some furniture while we're thinking about it? If we're going to give each other advice, how about we start with the important stuff?

TELL YOUR FRIENDS if you are also willing to help them anchor furniture. You don't have to be an expert. You don't even have to do it for them, if you're not liability-proof-confident in your skills, maybe just put the offer out there that they can borrow your tools or you'll professionally BUG them to do it, that's something! I just want to talk about it and knock down everybody's excuses. No more hurt babies, okay? Help each other! Concerned citizens with drills and screwdrivers, visit your neighbors, share the tools, open the dialog and help each other out.