Tuesday, June 14, 2011

furniture safety walk

I am a paranoid mom.

I think we've covered this before in detail, but I worry about: pools, open toilets, open second story windows, speeding cars, and ill-fitting car seats.    As a paramedic, my first thought has always been, how could this accident have been avoided?
That said, I try very hard to be a relaxed mom. I try not to project my paranoia onto my son, since I don't want him to grow up afraid of everything.  So sometimes I let him play in his room by himself while I am in my bedroom, right next door and in clear view, while I clean up.

Yesterday, however, I realized my mistake.  Josh was standing up, holding onto his dresser, and rocking it back and forth.  It was a big, wooden dresser that I would never have imagined he could tip over.
(Paranoid mom alert: I immediately flashed back to the call I ran where a two-year-old had pulled a dresser down on top of him, causing life threatning injuries)
So that ended playing in the bedroom unless Mom is right there or Josh is playing in his crib, until we can nail the dressers to the wall.  And this sent me on a safety walk around my house, pen and paper in hand.

The results weren't pretty.
In the den, where a young man is staying with us, he's set his old, heavy television up on a card table.
There is a heavy lamp on a nightstand doubling as an end table in the living room.
A table set up in the dining room has a whole bunch of odds and ends on it, some rather heavy.

These are all things that are easily taken care of.  The television either gets placed somewhere else in the den, or we put a lock on the door and mandate that it is always shut.
The heavy lamp gets moved to a decorative shelf in the dining room.
And the table in the dining room gets cleaned off, and then folded back up and put away(it's one that we pull out when we have a lot of guests over)

This week, grab a pen and paper and walk around your house.  What do you have absentmindedly sitting on top of furniture?  Is there a large television on a dresser?  Remove it, or tuck the cords behind the dresser and then screw it to the wall.  Is the furniture in your children's bedrooms solid enough that you are comfortable, or does it need to be screwed to the wall?  What about the objects on those dressers--could they be pulled down or fall?  What is in the drawers of your nightstand and end tables--are there things that could hurt little hands or weigh it down enough to tip over on your toddlers?  Walk around with a critical eye; even if something is questionable, right it down.  You can go back to check later.  
Just because something is unsafe doesn't mean it needs to be removed.  What can you do to secure it?

Not all of us are as paranoid as I am.  I understand that. But sometimes, a little minor adjustments to the objects in your house is not just paranoid, but smart.

in memory of Matthias


Katie said...

Some day if I'm blessed with kids this will absolutely be on my to do list. And to think as a single woman I had no idea why Ikea sold brackets with their wall shelves...

The heavy lamp problem had never occurred to me, so thanks for mentioning it!

Trina said...

Another great post! I always considered my house pretty baby-proof, as in nothing breakable with-in reach, but your post and a falling lamp episode last week with Seth and I realize I need to reassess things.

I would add to the list, power cords - my son likes to reach up and pull things down by the cord - even if it's as small as a cell phone charging, it can hurt.

Great job, sara. I like the new byline. :)

Trina said...

would you consider putting share buttons on the bottom of your posts so I share them easier on facebook?

smoore2213 said...

@Trina...they were supposed to be up ages ago. Apparently my HTML is not as good as it once was, but I do have the share buttons functional now. Thanks for pointing that out! :-)