Joanna Saltz's five-and-a-half year old daughter, Everett, had a scary near-miss when her sturdy dresser fell over last week. "I sent her up to her room to get dressed, which she does all the time, and she decided that she wanted to wear a dress and she needed tights with it," explains Scott Saltz, Joanna's husband and Everett's dad.
To reach the tights, which were in the top of her six-drawer dresser, Everett perched on a lower drawer. "There’s a stool in her room which she usually uses, but I guess she decided it would be faster to climb up, so she started to step on one of the drawers," says Scott.
Immediately, though, the piece pitched forward. Luckily, Everett jumped out of the way and the dresser just grazed her hip, leaving nothing more than a bruise—and quite a scare, of course.
"The dresser fell across the whole room and hit her bed," recalls Scott. "Thankfully, she wasn't really trapped."
Everett's parents were shocked—largely because they'd believed a sturdy, well-made piece wouldn't bear this risk.
"We didn't anchor it because we felt like it was a sturdy piece of furniture," explains Joanna. "We thought, 'This isn’t an IKEA piece….it’ll stay upright!'—which is, I’m sure, what everyone says right before it topples over."
It's easy to fall into that false sense of security, but tip-over accidents are more common than you might think: one child dies every two weeks due to furniture or other top-heavy appliances falling on them, according to the .
Don't be intimidated by the process, though. Anchoring furniture is actually pretty straightforward. Essentially, you're screwing a bracket into the dresser, TV, or appliance in question and screwing another into the wall—right into the stud. A small cable connects the two, helping prevent the item from tipping over. Look for a kit with nylon webbing or a braided steel cable, recommends, and use a wood screw that's at least two inches long in the wall, so it's extra secure. It may be extra work, but it's absolutely worth it.
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