Saturday, April 24, 2010

It Only Takes 20 Seconds... The Importance of Childproofing Furniture

We're starting our weekend with a guest post by TMD reader Janna and her amazing reminder of the importance of childproofing your home.

Overall, I think I'm a pretty conscientious mom. I slice grapes in half. I'd slice up hot dogs too, if I let my kids eat them. All of the sharp knives are in a cabinet on a shelf above my head so no little hands can get one. Medication in cabinet with knives. Really good child safe locks on cabinet under sink, which only has some not-so-toxic cleaners in them. Toxic stuff in garage on highest shelf near ceiling.

No matter how well you think you've childproofed your home, there can always be something you didn't think of. The past 2 days we have had a guy installing wood flooring in 2 rooms that had carpet. All of our furniture in those rooms was moved to other areas so he had empty rooms. Tonight we started moving things back. We moved our chest of drawers back into our bedroom. It's huge. One narrow and two wide drawers wide by 5 drawers tall. We took out all of the drawers to move it because it is just so heavy. My husband put the drawers back in, and we all left the room.

Back in the living room, we were reminding Zach to start practicing his piano lesson. It helps if we listen to what he plays and encourage him. Suddenly we heard a very loud crash in the other room. We jumped up and RAN in there to find the huge chest of drawers flat on its drawer fronts. Lane was running around the room. When he saw us, he started pointing and LAUGHING. We were so relieved that he was still alive and appeared to be completely untouched.

Words can seriously not describe how I feel. I couldn't stop the tears for at least an hour after this incident. Every single other tall piece of furniture was secured to the wall with screws near the top prior to this happening. This one wasn't. I asked him if he was okay first (he was). Then I asked if he had climbed it. He said, "No, I pulled out all of the drawers."

The weight of all of the open drawers made it fall over. It could have killed him. Or we could have spent his 3rd birthday on Saturday visiting him in the PICU at the Children's Hospital.

Anyone with tall shelves or dressers or chests or file cabinets that are not secured to the wall, please take time to buy some heavy strapping and screws and secure your furniture. Even if you don't have young children, your grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or friend's kids who visit could do this at your house.

It only took him about 20 seconds out of our sight to open all of the drawers and cause the chest to topple. It did damage 3 of the drawers - not that I cared. 2 are cracked and one has a large piece broken off. I'll glue it back together, and when I see it, I will remember with gratitude how very blessed I am. Ditto for when I see the tiny dent in my brand new wood floor that I could care less about. All I care about is that my adorable little boy isn't broken or bruised or DEAD! And since we moved his bedroom upstairs with all the shuffling of furniture, I put screws in the tracks of the upstairs windows so he can't open the windows more than a couple of inches.

There is just something about 2nd born kids. After your first one, you think you have it all figured out, but then the second comes along and teaches you that really you haven't seen anything yet.


WOW - Janna, we are all SO glad that everything is okay, and that Lane didn't get hurt! What a miracle! Thanks so much for sharing your frightening story with us!

Are you interested in guest posting for a weekend at The Mama Dramalogues?
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Enjoy your weekend!


  1. Oh, my heart stopped when reading this. And I can't stop the tears either. What a blessing that he was okay! I'm so glad your 2nd child reminder wasn't worse... and now I'm eying my 2yo all suspiciously.

  2. Glad no one was hurt..I have that same problem w/ my 2yr matter what I do she finds away

  3. Thanks for your comments. The photo at the top with all of the drawers out was taken AFTER we bolted it to the wall and were testing it to be sure the bolts were in the studs and would hold it in place if Lane ever did this again. When it actually happened, I was just too stunned to think of getting the camera and taking pictures of it on the floor. This was seriously the most scary thing that has ever happened at our house.


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