Mar 20, 2013

Furniture Safety for Children

How to safely secure furniture for toddlers.

As children reach the age that they can pull up and walk, they become interested in climbing, some more so than others.  If you have babies, toddlers or young children in your home then it is very important to have a look at any furniture hazards that you might have in your home and secure those items of furniture safely, by mounting them to the wall or securing them to the floor. 

The types of furniture that can be a hazard for little ones include shelving, small chests of drawers or any small cupboards that can be pulled over on to the child.  Also beware of large cupboards, particularly with drawers, that your child can climb up onto or possibly pull down onto themselves..  Don't assume any item is safe unless you have really checked it thoroughly.

As our children reached this particular stage, we considered wall-mounting our furniture, but being that the back of our Ikea chests of drawers are chipboard (not solid wood), my handy hubby didn't think any of the wall-securing options were a good idea (or strong enough).  He thought about it for a little while and came up with the idea of securing the furniture to the floor.  This option is not ideal for people that are renting, or that will be moving furniture around often, but is a good long-term option for furniture that doesn't need to be moved regularly.

In order to successfully baby-proof your furinture by securing it to the floor, you will need:

1. Cordless drill
2. One Packet of self-tapping screws (2x25mm).
3. Timber drill bit
4. Pre-drilled L-shaped steel brackets

The following steps match the numbered photographs:

1.  Remove drawers/other items and lay your furniture down
2.  Hold steel bracket flush with base of furniture and using a cordless drill, drill pilot holes for screws
3.  Align screws with holes in brackets and furniture, and then drill fixing steel brackets to the bottom of legs of furniture using screws.
4.  Stand furniture upright. Align screws with holes and drill, fastening furniture to floorboards.

5.  Handy hubby himself
6 & 7.  Little helpers may be required 
8.  Shelves secured to the floor but with the L-brackets attached to the side of the shelves (as the wood was not thick enough at the back).  This doesn't offer the same security but is definitely better than nothing.

Note:  This option will leave a small screw hold in your floorboards (as opposed to your wall), so be sure that you are happy with your furniture placement before securing.  You will be able to patch the hole later on if you change your mind.