Unanchored Furniture is More Dangerous for Children Than You Think

the deadly parenting mistake

When I was about 8 years old, my dresser and TV fell on me. That’s it above.

I had opened a drawer, pulled something out, then opened another without closing it either. As I opened the third drawer, the whole dresser toppled over on top of me as did the TV.

Luckily the bed behind me kept the dresser and TV from completely crushing me. I was old enough that other than being scared and a little bruised, no real damage was done, but too many children die each year from accidents just like this.

Statistics show that “3 children every hour and 71 children every day are injured by a fallen piece of furniture, a TV, or an appliance. A child dies on average every 2 weeks.“

It’s not always big furniture that kills.

Despite my own tipover accident, I didn’t secure my furniture until recently. We were lazy. Our son didn’t climb. I had gotten rid of the dresser that fell on me, and I figured that was enough.

Then I read about Meghan Beck.

“Eight years ago this morning, I woke to a nightmare, ” Meghan’s mother Kimberly Amato said. “One that will really never end. My 3-year old beautiful daughter was found lifeless under her dresser. Somehow she managed to tip it over on herself while we slept. We did not hear it fall, for it fell onto her. She was unable to cry. She died in minutes while the rest of our family slept, her airway compressed by a drawer under the weight of the dresser. Her dresser is pictured below. When most people see it, they are flabbergasted, expecting it to have been a much larger piece.”

meg's dresser

Meghan’s story really got my attention. Her own twin slept through the accident in the same room. I was shocked at how small the dresser was. I would have never thought it could be dangerous. I had never considered that the sound of falling furniture would be muffled by a trapped child, so that you’d never hear it happen.

It’s not just about climbers

While climbing often is a cause of furniture tipping over, it’s not the only reason. For me, it was opening too many drawers at once. When I saw my son doing this, I knew I had to secure our furniture especially now that we have a new baby.

Know better, do better

Unlike many scary things that parents face, there is actually easy prevention for tip over furniture deaths and injuries. Furniture straps and anchors when properly secured eliminate the risk. They are inexpensive and easy to use. Look how we’ve secured our TV.

We added these simple straps

The TV is connected now to the TV stand. Other pieces are secured to the walls using straps. The hardest part was finding studs. It only took a few minutes per piece of furniture.

Some people worry about putting holes in their walls or in their furniture, but for me, I’d rather “damage” the wall than have the risk of the furniture harming my child.

If you’re not sure you need to anchor your furniture, watch these videos.

Have you secured your furniture?