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Health & Safety

Safety Alert: Is Your Dresser Secured?

One family shares their story to help protect other kids


It can happen in the blink of an eye: One minute your kid is right next to you playing with blocks and the next, he's holding a kitchen knife. We've all been there. And one Utah mom is sharing her personal experience to raise awareness about a common danger many parents miss: Unsecured furniture.

We think of dressers as being sturdy, strong, and unlikely tip over, but many are not. Kayli Shoff shared the amazing video below of her 2-year-old twin boys just after waking up. (Watch the amazing video below) They're playing and end up climbing up on the large dresser in their room. The dresser falls and one of the twins is pinned beneath it. Thanks to the other twin's efforts, he's freed, but it took about seven minutes before it became clear on the family video baby monitor, according to NBC News.

Baby-proofing is sometimes dismissed as being overprotective, but it's key for keeping kids safe. In fact, every 30 minutes tipped furniture or a falling TV sends a child to the emergency room, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission site Anchor It, which explains how to secure TVs and heavy furniture. In addition to securing these items, keep kids safe with these nine other childproofing tips.

Secure shelves. "When baby-proofing your home, make sure to check your shelves," says Sage Singleton, a family and community safety expert from SafeWise, a company that advises families on home security and safety issues. "Move heavy objects from the upper shelves to the lower shelves so they won't fall on children. Secure all heavy objects, bookcases, entertainment centers and shelves, to the wall studs with nylon straps designed for this purpose."

Lock down small objects, too. "Secure art, frames and mirrors by using wire and eye screws," says Singleton. But it's not just the big objects. "Secure your microwave and stereo as these are also heavy objects that could fall and cause harm."

Cabinet and toilet locks. "At home, parents have likely safeguarded and locked all windows, cabinets, and drawers. However, when traveling, it's a smart practice to carry a few extra locks in the diaper bag," Singleton says. "Cabinet, window, door and toilet locks are can help prevent your baby from getting hurt."

Secure batteries. Make sure battery covers are secure on remote controls, key fobs, musical books, and greeting cards, advises the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP ). Store devices that contain small button-cell batteries out of reach and sight of children-as button batteries can cause severe harm if swallowed.

Lock up laundry detergent. Those convenient laundry detergent pods are very dangerous if ingested. The AAP recommends keeping these products (as well as any other products that may be harmful if swallowed) locked up and out of reach of children. Also, keep the number for your local poison control center programmed into your phone. 

Smoke alarms. All smoke alarms in the house should be in working order. At least once a year, replace batteries and test them once every six months.

Lower water heater temperature. Lower the water heater temperature so little hands can't inadvertently change the temperature in a bath and get burned.

Secure trash. This is one parents don't often consider, but since trash can contain spoiled food, sharp objects, or batteries, it should be kept out of reach of little explorers or given a lock that will keep it from being accessible.