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The following article is from SafeChurch.

Church-operated day cares and nurseries can be enriching for children and serve as convenient programs for parents while they are attending worship services. However, churches must be fully aware of the risks associated with caring for young children. There are numerous potential hazards to children within the nursery and day care. One of the most commonly overlooked is preventing TVs and furniture from tipping over and falling onto children.

tipping hazards - bookcase and TVBetween 2000 and 2011, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received reports of nearly 300 tip-over-related deaths involving children 9-years-old and younger. Typically, injuries and deaths occur when young children climb onto, fall against or pull themselves up on television stands, shelves, bookcases, dressers and desks. Small children are no match for a falling dresser, bookcase or television weighing upwards of 100 pounds. Children involved in these tip-over incidents often sustain severe head and other injuries to the body as a result of being crushed by the product or trapped under its weight.

To prevent injuries and possible death to children from tip-over related incidents, the following safety precautions should be followed:

    •    Any dresser, shelves, bookcase, or similar equipment should be installed with appropriate hardware, such as brackets or screws, to anchor them to the wall or floor to prevent them from accidentally tipping over.
    •    Any lower drawers of dressers, file cabinets, or similar furniture should be equipped with appropriate latches to keep children from being able to open them and climb up.
    •    Televisions and audio visual equipment should be placed on sturdy, low bases and pushed as far back as possible on the furniture or cart. These should be properly secured with straps or mounting brackets to the furniture or cart.
    •    Keep remote controls, toys, and other items that might attract children off television stands or furniture.
    •    Keep TV and/or cable cords out of reach of children.
    •    Supervise children, and do not allow them to play or climb on any cart, bookcase, etc., even if properly secured against tipping over.

Children are some of the most precious members of a church's congregation and, therefore, should be well protected when on the church's property. By following these recommended safeguards, your church will be better equipped to prevent injury or possible death from a tip-over incident.

For further information on tip-over prevention from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, click here. If you are interested in additional resources on day care and nursery safety, please visit the SafeChurch website.

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