700 Children's® – A Blog by Pediatric Experts

Furniture Tip-Overs: Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe

Aug 24, 2021
Adult using a drill in the wall.

When children are stuck inside, they may try to turn your house into a playground. As a mother of four-year-old triplets, I know how quickly a trinket on a high shelf suddenly becomes a quest as alluring as the summit of Everest to a seasoned climber.

In 2019, 11,521 children visited the emergency department for injuries from furniture or TV tip-overs. That’s one child every 46 minutes. When children climb on desks, cabinets, or bookshelves, the furniture can tip over and hurt them. Younger children pull themselves up on the shelf a TV is sitting on and cause it to fall on them. Children may pull out dresser drawers and climb inside drawers to hide or climb up the drawers to get something on top of the dresser.

Even though we try, it’s hard to pay attention to every child’s every move in my house. So my husband and I have taken the time to secure heavy furniture and other items like our TVs to the walls to make sure our kids are safe. We also anchored the bookshelf in the kid’s room to the wall and their dressers to the wall.

Follow the safety tips below to keep your children safe.

Secure Furniture like Shelves, Desks and Dressers to a Wall

  • Purchase furniture with wide legs or solid bases.
  • Install drawer stops on chests of drawers.
  • Place heavy items close to the floor on shelves.
  • Strap furniture to the wall with safety straps or L-brackets.
  • Avoid putting attractive items, such as toys or the remote, on top of furniture. If your child can see it, she’ll try to get it.

Secure Flat Screen TVs and Be Careful Using Older TVs

  • Wall mount flat screen TVs whenever possible.
  • If you’re using a TV stand, make sure to use a stand designed to be used as a TV stand. Pick one that is the right size to hold the size and type of TV you have. Secure both the TV and its stand to the wall using safety straps or L-brackets.
  • Tuck cords away so they can’t be pulled on or become a tripping hazard.
  • If you have an older TV – one of those heavy, bulky ones without a flat back – consider recycling it. If you choose to keep using it, avoid placing the TV on top of the dresser as they are not designed to hold the weight of a TV. Instead, put it on a stand designed for this type of TV. Make sure to secure both the TV and its stand to the wall using safety straps or L-brackets.

You can find drawer stops, safety straps, and L-brackets at stores that sell baby and children’s furniture, and at hardware and home improvement stores. You can always ask a salesperson for help if you can’t find them or need help determining which product is right for you.

Make Safe Happen App
For more tips on learning how to make your home safe, click here.

Featured Expert

Nationwide Children's Hospital Medical Professional
Lara McKenzie, PhD, MA
Center for Injury Research and Policy

Lara B. McKenzie, PhD, is a principal investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital and an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine and the Division of Epidemiology, College of Public Health at The Ohio State University. 

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700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.