Furniture in the home can be extremely dangerous and even deadly. If you are looking to babyproof furniture, the goal is twofold:
- Ensure that top-heavy furniture is properly anchored into the wall so it cannot fall or tip over onto a small child
- Ensure that your child can not push furniture around to gain access to dangerous areas or risk a fall injury
How to Babyproof Furniture: Tips for Getting Started
For starters, you’ll need to identify all furniture in the home that needs to be secured to the wall. Generally, any top-heavy furniture that could be toppled by a young child trying to climb needs to be anchored to the wall. The CPSC states that technically, the test is to place a 50-pound weight on the top of the item of furniture while all drawers are open; if the furniture topples over, it needs to be anchored to the wall. This is meant to simulate an approximately five-year-old child climbing the object. If you don’t have a 50-pound weight around, you’ll have to use your best judgement. If you’re unsure, be safe and anchor to the wall just in case.
Here are some tips on common household furniture items:
- Dressers, bookshelves, nightstands, armoires, bunk beds, TV stands and changing tables are some of the most common items that need to be anchored to the wall.
- All televisons should be either mounted to the wall or secured with straps to a properly-sized TV stand.
- Lamps are very difficult to babyproof. Consider temporarily removing the lamps until your child is older.
Additionally, you want to make sure that lightweight furniture can’t be moved around to access dangerous areas or allow the child to climb and risk a fall injury. If you have any lightweight furniture items, you’ll need to either anchor them in place or temporarily store them until your child is older.
Common lightweight furniture to consider is:
- Plastic children’s tables, card tables and plastic chairs are easily moved by small children.
- Outdoor patio furniture, especially on a deck, can allow the child to easily climb above the railing and risk a very serious fall injury.
Babyproof Furniture: Product Recommendations
Before you go purchasing furniture anchors, you should know that furniture manufacturers are required to provide wall anchoring kits with any piece of furniture that is a tip hazard. That said, some of these kits are rather flimsy, consisting of little more than a couple of zip ties. So use common sense and make sure the kit provided is sturdy enough for the furniture. If you’ve had your furniture for awhile or purchased it second-hand, you’ll need to babyproof furniture with wall anchors unless you happened to save the original anchor kit.
The Safety 1st Furniture Wall Straps (~$15 for 8) are the go-to for anchoring furniture to the wall. You’ll want to use two of these for every item of furniture (potentially more if the item is extremely large or heavy). If you’re comfortable with a drill, these are rather easy to install and they get the job done.