Expectant parents have a lot on their minds but one of the first things everyone should do is to make their home child-friendly.
We don’t think about it too often but most of our homes pose deadly hazards to a small child or baby. Just think of all the open outlets, sharp corners, and heavy furniture around the house. Not to mention stairs that kids can fall down from or items at floor level that can be a choking hazard. If you have pets around the house, the dangers increase due to things like pet food, pet toys that find their way into cribs, and so on.
By now, most families are well aware of the basic steps to take when they find out they’re going to have a baby. First, you install soft corner bumpers on tables and other sharps edges. Then you need to close all open electrical outlets with child-safe covers. If you have any stairs – whether going up or down – then safety gates are a must.
Open cabinets or even closed ones with doors are other problems. You may need to latch them properly to prevent kids from opening doors and getting stuck inside or touch something sharp like a knife or scissors. Of course, it goes without saying that you need to keep things off the floor and out of reach of little fingers as much as you can.
But the above dangers are well known by now. And even if you weren’t aware of them before, most parents will get plenty of advice from friends and family on completing these tasks. But what about unknown or little-known dangers? How can you be warned when no one even realizes it’s a hazard?
Furniture tip over
Furniture tip-over is one such little known hazard that harms many families with small children. Every year, adults and children alike suffer from injuries due to furniture pieces tipping over even when they were put against a wall. But the danger to small kids is even greater as a tip-over incident can even be fatal.
Kids can be suffocated underneath large dressers or get hurt when a drawer opens with just a small tug. Most incidents happen just after a nap when babies are left alone in the room. If there are any appliances like a TV or toys on the dresser, the probability of an accident increases even further. Quite often other family members cannot hear the furniture crash as the fall is cushioned by the child’s body.
How to prevent furniture tip-over
There exist standards for almost all furniture products but not every single one is mandatory or even applicable for every piece you can buy. For instance, smaller furniture may be exempt from complying with some laws. Other standards are voluntary – like the ASTM standard for clothing storage units – which means manufacturers can choose not to comply.
Now the best way to prevent tip-over incidents completely is to anchor the furniture piece to the wall. But what if you have brick walls or are renting and cannot drill holes? Similarly, not all parents are comfortable handling tools and may lack the knowledge to restrain furniture. That’s why Natart dressers go through rigorous testing – your child’s safety should not depend on your skill with tools.
We take the health and safety of our customers seriously. That’s why we use only wood to make all our furniture, minimize the use of flame-retardants, chemicals, and plastic materials.
Heavier pieces made from strong materials like wood are less likely to tip over. Dressers with wider bases and heavy backweights are also more stable. Safety straps are often included for dressers, so you can safely secure the pieces to the wall and minimize the risk of a tip-over. If a dresser has drawers that don’t extend out too much, that also reduces the chance of a tip-over. But the hard part is knowing which brands are safe by just looking at a catalog or even seeing it in person. All our dressers – regardless of shape and size – undergo the same rigorous testing to ensure they do not tip over. Every one of our dressers will pass the following tip-over tests:
- Stability test – the dresser will not tip over when empty and all drawers are pulled out
- Weighted stability test – ensures the dresser will remain standing when a 12.5 kg/27.5 lbs weight is attached to the topmost drawer when it is open
- Back weights – ensures the dresser will not tip over in normal use
All our dressers also feature other safety improvements such as Slow-Motion, Self-Closing, Anti-Pinch Drawer Glides. It ensures that you cannot slam a drawer shut and prevents injury to small fingers and toes. Many dressers also have dust caps to minimize dust collection underneath. If you cannot anchor your furniture to the wall, your best bet is to buy dressers from us or other manufacturers that pass the stability tests.
To top it all off, all our dressers come equipped with additional small legs attached to the front of the pieces, providing a 1 degree reverse inclination to compensate for uneven floors and to add stability.