700 Children's® – A Blog by Pediatric Experts

Home Safety Series: The Living Room

Dec 13, 2022
home safety series

The living room or playroom is an important and fun part of the house! It’s where we read books, watch the animals in the backyard, play with toys, and explore our surroundings. To keep these areas safer, focus on preventing furniture tip-overs, preventing window falls and strangulation from window blind cords, and preventing ingestion of choking hazards and other dangerous products.

  • Prevent tip-overs by securing dressers, shelves, TVs, and changing tables to the wall using straps and brackets.
    • Televisions: 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.
    • Furniture: Attach all furniture (desks, cabinets, bureaus, grandfather clocks, etc.) to the wall using brackets, braces, or wall straps. Keep heavier items on the bottom and add drawer stops so kids can’t pull drawers all the way out. Keep fun toys, books, or remotes in places kids can easily access without climbing. If you don’t want kids to have access to them, put them out of sight.
    • Tuck cords away so they can’t be pulled on or become a tripping hazard.
    • Learn more about furniture and TV tip-overs.
  • Watch out for windows. Keep furniture away from windows so kids can’t climb up and fall out the window. Keep windows closed when you’re not in the room, and install window stops to keep them from opening more than 4 inches. Cords can pose a strangulation risk, so get cordless blinds, shades or curtains. Learn more about window treatment safety.
  • Ensure that toys and the play area are safe.
    • Check the age recommendations. Labels on a toy’s packaging can tell you if a toy is appropriate for your child’s age.
    • Avoid magnets. Magnetic building sets, magnetic jewelry, and other magnetic toys can be swallowed easily and may cause serious internal injuries.
    • Avoid balloons for children younger than eight. Balloons can block their airway if they put them in their mouths.
    • Get on your hands and knees and look around your home. Find and remove any small items that can pose a choking risk like buttons, beads, jewelry, pins, marbles, coins, pens, or marker caps.
    • Beware of batteries. Choose electronic toys that have battery compartments that need a screwdriver to open or that have a child-resistant locking system. Batteries can be toxic if swallowed.
    • Separate toys. If there are children of different ages in the home, keep toys for older children separate from toys for younger ones. Be aware of older children or guests who may give younger children foods, toys, or other small objects that they could choke on.
    • Learn more about toy safety.
Center for Injury Research & Policy
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Featured Expert

Laura Dattner
Laura Dattner, MA
Center for Injury Research and Policy

Laura Dattner is a research writer in the Center for Injury Research and Policy. With both a health communications and public health background, she works to translate pediatric injury research into meaningful, accurate messages which motivate the public to make positive behavior changes.

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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.