National TV Safety Day is February 2nd, the day before the big game – according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a child dies every two weeks from a television or other piece of furniture falling on them and more than 25,000 children are injured.
Most of those deaths are to children under the age of five years. Home is a playground to young children and they love to climb. If something interesting catches their attention they will try to figure out a way to reach it.
Below are some tips to prevent these injuries from happening:
• Anchor televisions, dressers, bookcases, and any other tall furniture to the wall (most televisions come with anchor kits or you can purchase furniture brackets, wall-straps, or braces)
• Follow all manufacturer’s directions for installation
• Keep all toys, food, remote controls or anything else that catches a child’s attention out of sight if in high places
• Install “stops” on dresser drawers to prevent them from being pulled all the way opened (multiple open drawers may cause a tipover)
• Keep heavier objects in bottom drawers or lower to the ground shelves
Since we’re talking about the under-5 crowd, here are a few other home safety tips to keep in mind:
• Keep furniture away from windows to prevent children from climbing up and having access to the window
• Use blind cord wind up protectors or cut long cords for curtains or window blinds to prevent strangulation injuries (the cords still work when they are shortened and kids can’t get tangled in them)
• Keep the hot water tank temperature at or below 120 degrees to prevent burns
• Water safety includes using toilet locks, keeping buckets empty and stored upside down, and never leaving a child unsupervised in the bathtub, even just to answer a call or the door
• Keep smoke detectors on every level and near bedrooms, batteries changed every six months, and have a fire escape plan for your family
• Carbon monoxide detectors should also be near bedrooms – if it goes off immediately take everyone and leave the house – call the fire department from another location
• Play gates will help to prevent falls on stairs (pressure gates at the bottom and gates bolted into the wall at the top of the stairs) or keep small children out of certain areas of the house
• Store firearms in a locked gun safe or with a safety lock and with ammunition locked and stored in a separate area at all times
Supervision of small children is always the best way to keep them safe; they always seem to find a way to exercise their curiosity in new ways. Please check our website for additional tips at www.chp.edu/besafe.