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Meghan's story: the warning every parent needs to hear
Do you secure your furniture?


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#1 Tesseract

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:35 AM

Warning: sensitive, mentions child death

http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/life-style...campaign=meghan

cry1.gif

This is such a tragic story, and unfortunately it's one I've heard before with TVs, bookcases etc.

DH pulled a book case on himself as a child, and I was always climbing up drawers.

So, do you secure your furniture? If you do could you please share what you've done and how you did it?

#2 podg

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:39 AM

And how much it cost to replaster and paint the rental when you moved out?

I read this yesterday and had a good lean on all our furniture to see if I could pull it over. If we owned I would definitely tether some of it to the wall... but we don't.

Meghan's story made me cry.

#3 minimae

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:39 AM

such a sad read. I was shocked by the photo of the dresser that fell as well, whilst I secure all of my taller/bigger furniture, I'd never have thought to secure a dresser like that. I will now.

Such a brave family to spread the message, such a beautiful little girl.

#4 CallMeProtart

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:40 AM

Freaked me out reading that last night! I cried sad.gif

We haven't secured anything. Our kids weren't climbers, so we never kind of got around to it. But I'm planning to head to Bunnings today to get some stuff and do it. What a devastating story.

I'd love some ideas on how though. We move furniture around relatively regularly, so drilling holes through the wall into the studs seems pretty extreme. Plus I have not the handyman skill to be confident with that extreme amount of potential damage, and if I wait for DH to get around to it the kids will be 21.
And what do renters do? Surely they aren't allowed to drill through the walls willy nilly. Is there an easier option?

#5 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:41 AM

I read it last night.

Beyond heartbreaking, her poor mother and family. Her mother really shouldn't blame herself, it was a tragic accident and not her fault.

#6 *LucyE*

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:42 AM

I haven't read the link because I think I would end up bawling.

We secure tall furniture with bolts to the wall. DH got some brackets and stuff from the hardware store. I suppose this works for us because the furniture is fairly cheap and we own our home. I wouldn't want to do it with antique furniture and you can't do it in rentals.

Most of the secured furniture are bookcases. We don't have low boys or chests of drawers in the house. This has been partly a conscious choice to minimize toddler risks.

Our television is secured to the wall on a hinged bracket. Although I have been assured by many that it is safe, we have some low furniture underneath to reduce the chances of children being under it in case it should ever fall.

#7 Jess1

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:45 AM

I was shocked when I saw the picture of the dresser, I never would have thought a child would have had the strength to pull that over.  Such a devastating accident.

I'm not sure there is another way other than drilling.  I don't think there is anything that would stick enough and if there were it would damage the paint anyway?  We are renting but luckily it is my parents house so this weekend we will go and fix everything to the walls, my little one is such a climber it is scary.  

Such a sad story

#8 baddmammajamma

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:47 AM

Oh, what a tragic accident.

Several pieces of our heavy furniture (like bookshelves) have been professionally secured for this very reason. We ended up passing on chests of drawers and having them anchored in mounted wardrobes instead -- I had two climbers, so I bought furniture with that in mind.

Still, even with precautions, household accidents can happen almost anywhere, any time. It's a daunting thought!

#9 Betty_D

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:49 AM

My DH and I both shed tears reading Meghan's story last night. It also compelled us to plan a trip to Bunnings this weekend to buy the necessary tools to secure all our furniture.

At the moment, the only thing secured at our house is our TV. You can buy special connector thingys (??) from places like Bunnings that connect flat screen TVs to your TV unit to prevent it from tipping.

Edited by Betty_D, 08 February 2013 - 10:50 AM.


#10 julz78

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:56 AM

That is so so sad. I knew about tvs and lighter furniture being pulled over and killing kids but would have thought heavy furniture like that would be safe. What an absolute tragedy. I have a nearly 2 year old climber and that is really scary, I'm off to bunnings as soon as dh is home as we have dressers and a buffet like that. Thank you Meghan's mum for sharing Meghan's story and raising awareness.

#11 minimae

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:57 AM

QUOTE (*LucyE* @ 08/02/2013, 11:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I haven't read the link because I think I would end up bawling.

We secure tall furniture with bolts to the wall. DH got some brackets and stuff from the hardware store. I suppose this works for us because the furniture is fairly cheap and we own our home. I wouldn't want to do it with antique furniture and you can't do it in rentals.

Most of the secured furniture are bookcases. We don't have low boys or chests of drawers in the house. This has been partly a conscious choice to minimize toddler risks.


I urge you to look at the photo at least, the furniture that killed poor Meghan was only three draws high.

#12 SqueakyBee

Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:04 AM

QUOTE (podg @ 08/02/2013, 08:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And how much it cost to replaster and paint the rental when you moved out?

I read this yesterday and had a good lean on all our furniture to see if I could pull it over. If we owned I would definitely tether some of it to the wall... but we don't.

Meghan's story made me cry.


It's not difficult to fill small drill holes when moving - I think you can use caulk, with one of those long nozzles, fill straight into the hole and sand once it's dry. You may be able to get away with patching those parts rather than a full repaint, if you have the right paint.

If not, I know it's a pain but repainting is a small price to pay when compared to what Meghan's parents went through.

#13 BadCat

Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:04 AM

The thing with a dresser like that is that she probably didn't pull it over, she would have pulled the drawers open and that's all it takes to tip over most chests of drawers.  You open all the drawers and all the weight is transferred forwards.

Renters who aren't able to put holes in their walls could probably lessen the risk by putting small wedges under the front of furniture which may tip to tilt it slightly backwards.  It's not going to stop something from tipping althogether but it should make it harder.

You can also get drawer stops which prevent drawers coming out to their full extension.  A set of those on each drawer in each chest of drawers will significantly reduce the risk of drawers toppling over.

TVs should be secured to the tv cabinet with a strap which is usually supplied with the tv.

Another thing you can do is not put things that your toddler might want on top of furniture where they can't reach it.  Lots of kids only climb to get at things on higher shelves.  If all their toys are down low their is less incentive to climb.

None of these measures are a substitute for attaching to a wall though.

Edited by O TheHugeManatee, 08 February 2013 - 11:07 AM.


#14 Betty_D

Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:10 AM

Great advice, thanks O The huge Manatee

#15 *LucyE*

Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:12 AM

We have friends whose DD pulled a low chest of drawers onto herself. It was sheer good luck that she wasn't injured. It happened because she opened up the drawers and stood on the top one. That was enough to over balance and tip it over. I think she was about 2 or 3 years old at the time so still fairly light.

As I said , we don't have any furniture that can tip like that. I even got rid of our office chair that was a bit precarious when #2 came along.

#16 bambiigrrl

Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:21 AM

i also cried when i read this story, espeshally the part where she held her daughter after she had died, i just imagined myself in that situation, holding my own 3 year old daughter. i cant bolt everything to the wall as we rent, but i do think that this sort of thing doesnt happen too often, espeshally with such a low chest of drawers...I just have to hope my kids have better luck then that poor little angel did.

#17 meggs1

Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:23 AM

That was so hard to read but but thank you for posting and to Meghan's parents for writing the article.

This has been on my to do list for way too long.

#18 Beancat

Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:23 AM

This story is so sad.  I balled when I read it.  I was shocked that that chest could have been pulled over by a three year old.  My 1yo had been playing near the TV, we need to secure it this weekend.

The poor mother, freak accidents happen.  I know its easy to say but she shouldnt blame herself.

#19 MrsLexiK

Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:40 AM

ETA: I only read the first paragraph and that poor family.  What a terrible accident

QUOTE (*LucyE* @ 08/02/2013, 12:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We have friends whose DD pulled a low chest of drawers onto herself. It was sheer good luck that she wasn't injured. It happened because she opened up the drawers and stood on the top one. That was enough to over balance and tip it over. I think she was about 2 or 3 years old at the time so still fairly light.

As I said , we don't have any furniture that can tip like that. I even got rid of our office chair that was a bit precarious when #2 came along.


Yup we have gotten rid of the things in our house that would do that, we still have chest of draws and the like but they wouldn't tip like that even if all draws had been pulled out they hold the balance still.

Edited by MrsLexiK, 08 February 2013 - 11:42 AM.


#20 PurpleNess

Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:43 AM

We've secured all of the tall furniture in DS's bedroom & his play area but I hadn't thought about his draws...but now I think we'll be drilling in a bracket, it's a large heavy piece of furniture & he already loves opening all the draws...plus he's just started to walk & I strongly suspect will be a climber!

Thank you to Meghan's family for sharing this devastating story, my heart goes out to you all.

#21 Lady Garden

Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:44 AM

QUOTE (O TheHugeManatee @ 08/02/2013, 12:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The thing with a dresser like that is that she probably didn't pull it over, she would have pulled the drawers open and that's all it takes to tip over most chests of drawers.  You open all the drawers and all the weight is transferred forwards.

I agree with this and while I fully advocate securing furniture such as bookcases to walls, sometimes that is not enough. A screw into some plasterboard is not going to stop something tall and heavy from falling when it has too much weight applied, nor will it stop a heavy drawer from falling onto a child if pulled all the way out.

I say this not to discourage parents from securing furniture, but in the hope that Meghan's parents don't blame themselves for what was a tragic accident.

#22 Flaxen

Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:46 AM

So sad, i cried so much reading it.

Thank you, Kimberley Packard for sharing your heartbreaking story, I know i will now go and fix all items in our house including our drawers, they not high, but are tippable.



#23 Jjbeanz

Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:50 AM

So very sad sad.gif we have the TV anchored to the wall and our draws are in the wardrobes. I too am shocked that a dresser of that size could be pulled over

#24 polka dotty

Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:00 PM

Such a sad and tragic accident, that poor family.
My DD used her drawers as a 'ladder' a few years ago- she would have been about 5. The melamine drawers were inside her wardrobe, and she decided she wanted something from the top shelf. She pulled the drawers out and tried to climb up, and it obviously tipped forward very easily onto her.Luckily I was in the next room and head her scream out, rushed in and found her flat on her back, supporting the drawers with her legs. Her legs had actually gotten wedged in the drawers as it fell, so her legs took the full force of the unit.
It gave us both a big scare, and I sold off all the bedroom drawers and had DH install those wire racks inside the wardrobes instead.
I have no idea what renters would do in such a situation though.

#25 BellaMoja

Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:00 PM

Another who is shocked that a dresser like that could be pulled over...

I will be doing a check of of our furniture tonight. Thank you to Mehgan's Mum who shared the story.

I am sitting here at work trying very hard not to make crying noises. There are no words for how a parent would feel losing their child but to lose them to an accident like this would just be so so devastating.




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