The reality is the vast majority of Americans don't anchor their furniture and TV's, even if they are aware of the potential for tip-over. A recent report published by Consumer Reports, "Furniture Anchors not an easy fix, as child tip-over deaths persist" highlights this frightening reality.
Even after explaining the statistics that every 17 minutes someone is a victim of a tip-over, and that approximately every 10 days, a child dies from injuries due to a tip-over, and sharing my daughter's story, as I did in a blog post a few years ago that went viral, entitled Be With Me, Just for Today, far too many people, once they learn of the dangers of furniture and TV tip-over, convince themselves their children are not at risk.
Are you one of them?
Common excuses include, "I'm always with my child", "My child is not a climber", "My child knows not to do that", "My furniture is too heavy to tip", "I don't want to (or can't) put holes in the walls or my furniture", "I don't have the right tools", "It's too expensive", "It takes too much time", "My (husband, parents, etc.) won't let me or doesn't think it's necessary", "It's not likely to happen, so why spend the money?", "It mostly happens to toddlers and my child is older than that now", or, "We have expensive, good furniture, it's safe." Sound familiar?
Here's the thing, furniture is inherently NOT safe. It's not manufactured to be safe, it's manufactured to be "pretty" and functional and sold for profit. There are no mandatory safety standards, no required testing to determine if a dresser, bookshelf, or any other type of furniture is likely to tip-over, and no widespread availability of anti-tip restraints where most parents shop. We think, because we live in the U.S., everything we buy must be safe, right? Especially if it's for kids. But that simply is not a guarantee. Especially for furniture.
Even if the awareness of the possibility of tip-over is there, there are false assumptions made by far too many parents and consumers that can lead to devastating injuries and death. The only way to protect your child is to be pro-active about prevention. The harsh reality is that neither manufacturers, retailers, nor the government, at this time, care whether or not your child lives or dies when it comes to furniture tip-over. It's 100% up to you. The point of the title of this post is that there is NO argument against anchoring furniture. Right now, it's the only way to prevent a tip-over.
Some people are not motivated by statistics or words or even someone else's heart-wrenching story. Perhaps they are more visual. Sometimes, pictures have a greater impact. Some people are moved by music, not words or pictures. I ask you to take 3 minutes to watch this video. Then, perhaps you will share this blog post with anyone who still does not understand the importance of anchoring furniture and TV's. Who doesn't fully grasp the potential consequences. Who thinks it only happens to "someone else".
I am that someone else. I am just like you. I'm a parent who loves her children. Who thought I did all the right things to childproof my home. Who thought buying furniture made for a nursery was safe. You, or they, could just as easily be that someone else. If you don't anchor your furniture and TV's, the next statistic could be your child, or one you know and love.
The song is called "Visitor from Heaven" by Twila Paris. It's beautiful, and was played at her funeral. The pictures tell a love story. Heavily punctuated with why it's so important to anchor your furniture and TV's. So you never have to tell this kind of a love story.
Please, anchor it.
You can learn more about anchoring furniture at www.anchorit.gov