Keep Your Children Safe: Basic Furniture Baby-Proofing

When your baby becomes more mobile, it's time to start preventing potential accidents. Some of the most harmful accidents occur when household furniture is not properly assembled, organized, or secured. Here are some basic guidelines for making your home furniture safe around for your child.

Secure vertical furniture items.

If you have tall dressers, bookshelves, or other forms of vertical storage, you need to make sure they are correctly anchored to the wall. This means purchasing anchors for screws or installing the shelves with the anchoring kits usually provided by the manufacturer. You cannot simply use a nail and string or a screw in the wall -- soft plaster or semi-soft drywall will not hold the weight of the shelf for long and can be easily pulled out of the wall with enough weight or force. Other things that you should secure that might not have thought about include grandfather clocks, floor lamps, and tall bar-stools (have these tied or hooked to the countertop to prevent them from falling over when baby pulls on them). 

Keep things top-light.

Items like bookshelves are invaluable for creating attractive storage in a room. However, when your child is older, they can make attractive ladders or step stools. If the bookshelf is not packed properly, heavy items can fall off or the bookshelf can pull away from the wall, even when it is anchored. Refrain from storing items on top of dressers and bookshelves to discourage your child from climbing to investigate these "forbidden" items. Never leave the top drawers pulled out, and never allow all the drawers to be pulled out at once. If your child is an avid drawer opener, invest in some drawer locks to discourage accidents. 

Move furniture to prevent accidents.

If you have second story in your house, you need to make sure that the way the furniture sits in the room doesn't pose a threat to your child. Do not put a bed (or a dresser or toy box) directly under a window, as the bed can be a stool for getting to the window. Never leave a window open with your child unsupervised in the bedroom, even if the window has a screen. On lower levels, discourage your child from climbing up to the windows by pulling couches away from the wall and by tying up blind cords (babies like to play with these, but they are a choking hazard). 

For more information on choosing safe furniture for your baby, contact Visions In Contemporary Living or a similar company.