Every day 35-children are injured from a top-heavy furniture fall and every 3-weeks a child is killed from a TV tip-over. Most of these children are 5-years of age and younger (Safe Kids Worldwide) and all could have been prevented.

Toddler aged children learn about their environment by doing, reaching, climbing and observing, by modeling their caregivers behavior. While this is helpful for the child to learn, it can also put them at risk for injury. From climbing up onto an unstable piece of furniture to reach for a toy or by pulling onto a reachable flat screen panel TV, for example.  While supervision is the best prevention, 100% of supervision is not always possible. So having the necessary layers of protection will help prevent an injury during a brief lapse in supervision.

Anchoring a flat screen panel TV's onto a wall or strapping it to a wall or cabinet (that is also  anchored to the wall) and anchoring top-heavy furniture onto a wall are among these layers of protection.  However what is often left out of the recommendations for parents is the importance of "properly" securing these to the wall.  Properly securing these to a wall means using the appropriate method of attaching the TV or furniture to the wall, via a screw into a wooden stud or using the appropriate hollow wall bolt.

Prevention: One of the most important components among these layers of protection is to anchor TV's and furniture "properly" so when they are anchored, they remain stable and cannot fall onto a child. This concept is similar to that of child restraint systems (CRS). Whereas even with the most expensive and safest car seat installed in the most expensive and safest vehicle is only as safe as it is properly used and correctly installed. When anchoring a TV or furniture to a wall it must be done correctly anchored "properly" to be effective. 


Correct use & properly anchored: Remember when anchoring TV’s and furniture to the wall, the anchors, mounts, straps and braces used are only as safe as they are correctly used and properly installed. When anchoring into a wall:
  1. Find a wood stud in the wall to fasten into. If found, screw the mount, strap or anchor onto the wall, then screw anchor onto furniture or TV.
  2. If however a wood stud is not found and you must use the hollow section of the wall, you must use the appropriate hollow wall “anchor bolt” or “molly bolt” for either  a “plaster” wall (older homes) or “drywall” wall (newer or remodeled homes). If you are unsure of the type of wall, contact your local hardware store to help make a determination. Once known, they can assist you with the type of hollow wall bolt needed. See types below.
Types of Hollow Wall Bolts                                                  
Once you know if the wall is plaster or drywall you can then determine which type of hollow wall bolt is needed. Again if you are unsure consult your local hardware store regarding types and size needed. They can also assist you with the strength size of the wall bolt needed (i.e. for heavy furniture or larger wall mounted flat panel TV's).

TV Safety Guide


Flat Screen Panel TV's                                                           

Furniture Safety Guide


Unstable & Top-heavy Furniture                                      
Mounted on Wall           
  • Use appropriate wall mount brackets
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions
Picture
Wall Mount
Anchored to Wall        
  1. Use appropriate anchor strap
  2. Follow manufacturer’s instructions
  3. When using an anchor strap, whether anchored to wall or cabinet, make sure cabinet is stable and cannot topple over. If not stable, anchor cabinet to wall.
Picture
Wall Strap
Picture
Wall Strap
Picture
Strap to Furniture
Anchor furniture to wall using:
  1. Wall brackets, braces, or straps
  2. Anchor at top or side of furniture
Picture
Furniture Anchor

TV & Furniture Child Safety Guide.pdf
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    Author

    Dr. Safety
         As an injury and neuroepidmeiologist, Master Certified Health Education Specialist, Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and a father, I have obtained a passion to help educate the public on how to prevent injuries and maintain healthy lifestyles for communities and future generations.  
         Throughout my years of graduate and professional education in public health, neuroscience, public policy and intergovernmental management, from the University of Oxford, England, George Washington University, Washington D.C., and the University of Southern California, I have applied a multidisciplinary approach to educate not only the public as a community benefit but also to develop sustainable public health injury prevention programs to state and local governments, schools, hospitals and organizations to help promote safety and healthy lifestyles.
      I also use a personal approach to educating parents and children by empowering them so they can make healthier and safer choices in life and have a happier life and improve communities.
        I appear as a guest on a regular basis with LaFern Cusack on the ESPN Experience (AM710) and Radio Disney Playground (AM1110).  
        Contact me to discuss any child safety question, speaking engagements, or to request a discuss of a specific injury topic at              drsafety@proconsumersafety.com
     

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