Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Child Safety: Furniture

Let me start by saying this.  It's tough being a parent.  And we've only been doing this gig for just over 3 years.  I keep hearing the hardest years are to come (and I believe it).  I've also heard that parents love to stress out about little things.  I really try to only stress out on the super important stuff (to me) but sometimes little fears creep in.  My favorite that I heard from another parent was after having the baby, they were irrationally worried about not keeping enough bananas in the house.

Now, my fears are usually a little more safety related so that comment really made me laugh.  The thing is, is I'm almost alway the parent that tries to sit back and let me kiddos bump into things, fall down while running, and swing really, really high.  When they do get little boo-boo's, we try not to make a big deal of them.  We like to give them kisses and encourage them to try again.  I can't tell you how many times I get the strange looks from other parents when I see a (tiny) accident about to happen, but allow my little ones to learn from their falls.

This type of parenting though, I've learned, really does encourage a type of fearlessness in my kids.  So, it shouldn't have come as any surprise when my three year old decided to climb the changing table to get closer to her "stinky little man".  She climbed that dresser so quickly and effortlessly that I didn't even have time to say anything to her before she was sitting next to him!  And I was standing right there!  We certainly do not allow her to climb furniture and I thought she knew better.  The thing is, now that I've witnessed this act, it can not be ignored.  She has an identical dresser in her room so the odds that she's climbed her dresser are very high.

Where am I going with all of this?  Oh yeah, my fear is that a piece of furniture will fall on one of my kids.  That's way bigger than any bump or scrape.  That's a whole different ball game.  And it scares me to death.

Here's the dresser that both kids have in their rooms. (You can see the other dresser here.)  Notice the perfect little "climbing footings" also known as handles :)  This piece of furniture is super heavy but there is always that possibility of it tipping.

Fortunately, there's an easy fix!  I picked up some Furniture Wall Straps from Amazon.

They were super easy to install and I was able to hook up two dressers in about 20 minutes.  (That's while having the help of two toddlers).  All I used to install them was a stud finder and a drill!

-Locate the stud in the wall and place the wall strap there (with the included long screws).
-Pre-drill the holes into your furniture to make the screws go in easier, attach furniture mount (with included shorter screws).
-Attach the straps to one another, move the furniture back into place, tighten up the straps, and you're done!

The best part about using this system is it's not an exact science so it goes quickly.  As long as you locate the stud in the wall, you can eyeball where it should fall on the dresser and go for it.  There's enough wiggle room in the strap to account for any discrepancies.

This just gives me peace of mind that my little monkey won't be reaching for something during nap time and end up with a heavy dresser on top of her.  

So, what's your best advice for child-proofing?  Have you bolted down all of your furniture yet or are you more concerned with padding the corners of counter tops?


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