Monday, January 23, 2012

Do you have a little one who loves to climb?

Michelle Maloney
Nurse Practitioner
Young children love to climb. Climbing on furniture is especially exciting for them. Unfortunately, this can lead to tragedy. In the past three months alone, 3 Chicago area children have died after knocking over a TV which fell and crushed them. Furniture and TV tip-overs are among the top accidents in the home for young children.

According to the Consumer Product and Safety Commission for just the ten year period of 2000-2010 there were 245 children ages 8 and under who were killed when a TV or other heavy furniture fell. 169 of these deaths were attributed to TVs. There were also more than 22,000 ER visits for injuries related to these tip over incidents.

Many of the TV deaths were of the older model tube TVs. These TVs were either on TV stands too small for TV or on unstable stands. However, the newer flat screen TVs are not without problems. These TVs are lighter and on small stands as well. Because they are lightweight, it is extremely easy to tip them over. These can severely injure a small child.

TVs are not the only culprits of tip over accidents. Bookcases and dressers are also guilty. The drawers and shelves make it very inviting for a child to climb.

So what can be done to protect our youngest and most vulnerable children? It is best to secure both the furniture and the TV. There are straps that can be bought at Babies R Us, Target, online @ Amazon, etc.  These straps are easy to apply to the TV and then secure it to the wall. You can also purchase wall mount kits to raise the tv out you’re your child’s reach. Bookcases and dressers can be secured by bolting them to the wood studs in the walls.

Of course, close supervision is important but as parents, we know we can step out of a room for just a few seconds and things happen. Keep remote controls, toys and other desirable items off of the TV stands and the tops of dressers and bookcases so children won’t climb to reach them.
****PHA Nurse Practitioner Michelle Maloney see patients at our Plainfield office for checkups, sick visits and nutrition consultations.

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