New Partnerships Help to Promote Anchor It! Awareness
“I love you” were the last words I said to my son, Shane. I closed the door to his room so he could take a nap. When I checked on him later, I opened the door, and I couldn’t do anything but scream. I found my 2 year old under his fallen dresser.
We lost our son—my daughter lost her brother—in 2011 to a furniture tip-over accident–an easily preventable tragedy, if only we had known.
In 2005, we found out I was pregnant with my daughter, Darby. We did our research on babyproofing to keep her as safe as possible in and around our home. Outlet covers, cabinet locks, door-knob covers. We bought all of the essentials.
When we brought Shane home, we took the same precautions. We thought we had everything we needed to protect him. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. We were missing an important piece in our childproofing kit: a furniture anchor.
Tip-over accidents are common. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a child is sent to the emergency room an average of every 24 minutes because of a tip-over accident in the United States. Installing low-cost anchors to pieces of furniture, appliances, and televisions can prevent this.
I didn’t learn about tip-over safety until it was too late. That is why I started Shane’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization. Our goal is to share Shane’s story and warn parents, grandparents, teachers, pediatricians, safety organizations —anyone I can—about this hidden danger in their homes.
Thankfully, I am not working alone. I recently partnered with the CPSC to promote their Anchor It! Campaign. On the website, they provide videos, pictures, and information relating to tip-over prevention, such as these safety tips:
• Televisions should only be placed on furniture designed to hold a television, such as television stands or media centers.
• Televisions that are not wall mounted should still be anchored to the wall.
• Mount flat-screen TVs to the wall or to furniture to prevent them from toppling over.
• Follow the manufacturers instructions to secure TVs and furniture properly.
• CRT televisions should only be placed on furniture designed to hold a television, and should be
anchored to the wall or the TV stand.
• Existing furniture can be anchored with inexpensive anti-tip brackets. New furniture, such as dressers, is sold with anti-tip devices. Install them right away.
• Remove items that might tempt kids to climb, such as toys and remote controls, from the top of the TV and furniture.
Inspired by Shane, the CPSC’s Anchor It! campaign efforts have truly brought tip-over safety to light this year, and I am so proud that Shane’s Foundation can be a part of it.
With Shane’s Foundation, I’ve been able to share Shane’s story and provide resources to educate families about tip-over safety.
This year, we are also raising awareness by working with Timothy Grant Jewelry for a charity golf outing on August 31 at Bridges Poplar Creek in Hoffman Estates, IL. We partnered with Timothy Grant’s for this event in 2013 and raised over $17,000 for Shane’s Foundation, which has helped us to take our message to health and safety conferences to speak about tip-over prevention, to print brochures and fact sheets about safety tips, and much more.
I am hoping for another incredible turnout this year. Shane’s Foundation continues to grow, and I hope we can prevent tip-over tragedies from happening to other families—all in honor and in memory of Shane.