Furniture Safety: preventing furniture & television tip-over injuries

If you have a toddler or older child, you know the moniker “curtain climbers” is an appropriate description for most kids when they become mobile. Kids love to climb anything they can and that often includes the furniture. Dressers, entertainment centers, TV stands, all are fair game when it comes to these curious explorers. Unfortunately, kids and many parents are unaware of the potential for furniture tip-over which can cause serious injury and even death.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, “from 2000 through 2005, CPSC has reports of 36 TV tip-over-related Walker furniture story pic-finaldeaths and 65 furniture tip-over deaths. More than 80 percent of all these deaths involved young children. Additionally, CPSC estimates that in 2005 at least 3,000 children younger than 5 were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms because of injuries associated with TV tip-overs.”

So how do you keep your active child from becoming a victim of a dangerous tip-over? Furniture strapping and brackets designed to prevent tip-overs should be used on any piece of furniture that a child could climb, pull over, or knock over. Don’t be fooled by the weight of a dresser or other item of furniture. Even very young toddlers have managed to pull over very large and heavy pieces of furniture. If there is any doubt as to whether the furniture is stable enough not to be tipped over, go ahead and anchor it to the wall. Some furniture companies now include anchors, straps, or brackets with new furniture, but most do not. You may be able to find furniture straps at the local hardware or home improvement store, but if not, they can easily be ordered online at

Televisions should be placed on appropriate stands and anchored in such a way that they can not be pulled or knocked off the stand or tipped over. Place the TV as far back on the stand as possible. Never place remotes or toys on top of the TV, as this may encourage climbing. Prevent a TV from sliding by using a rubber mat or grips between the bottom of the TV and the stand.

On an episode of the Ask MomRN Show, I interviewed Carri McQuerry-Funk, owner of, about furniture safety and her efforts to bring awareness to other parents about furniture tip-over dangers. In the interview, Mrs. Funk told of the loss of her two year old daughter, Madison Funk, who was killed by her dresser falling over on top of her as she attempted to climb it. Madison’s parents have created Maddie’s Message to warn and educate other parents, and are on a mission to prevent further tragedies.

Furniture safety is an important safety precaution parents need to add to child-proofing efforts. Take some time today to inspect and secure your furniture


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