Product Review: Furniture Straps Comparison Courtesy of Safe Start Baby *Safety*
Protect Your Child and Ease Your Mind
Did you know that a child dies every two weeks from falling TVs, furniture, and appliances? The statistics are staggering with over 19,000 children a year needing ER care with related injuries. I am embarrassed to say that until recently Bob and I had not strapped down the last few furniture items to the wall even though we have a toddler in our house. It’s not that we don’t want our daughter to be safe but strapping down the last dresser just seemed to be at the bottom of our massive ‘to do’ list. It’s not like we don’t have all of our cabinets on lock down, gates on doorways and plug protectors on all plugs so I guess we probably felt like we were creating a pretty safe environment for our daughter, Brooke. That was until I heard Laurie Nicholson Rahn’s story about how her (then) 3-year old daughter, also named Brooke, suffered life threatening injuries from an unsecured dresser (Read her story here *Caution: You will need tissues*). Of course, the first thing I asked Laurie after my initial shock of her daughter’s injuries and miraculous recovery was, “What product do you recommend for safety furniture straps?” since I imagine her house must now be on full lock down mode. Sure enough, Laurie told me all about Michele from Safe Start Baby who reached out to her after her daughter’s ordeal and now I get to pass on the information to my readers!
Michele Spahr from Safe Start Baby wants all families to have safe homes for their kids. She sent Laurie furniture straps after Brooke recovered from her injuries and I wanted to get the lowdown from her about her mission of safety. I told her I was interested in learning more about her favorite furniture straps and she suggested I do a review on her two favorite ones for a comparison for my readers. Of course, I thought that was a fantastic idea. Furniture straps is one product area I really had not done my homework (again, embarrassed) and I felt an urgency from Laurie’s story that this was another area I really needed to put in my best research effort.
The two kinds of furniture straps that Michele recommends are Kidco Anti-Tip Furniture Strap S142 and Safety Innovations Pro-Strap Professional Furniture Straps. I tried both sets that came in a 2-pack (Note: Large furniture should be secured with two straps) and I took extra care in reviewing both straps. Here is the positive breakdown:
- Cost Effective
- Easy Installation
- Secures furniture to wall
- Extra Long Strap
- Made of metal (no plastic parts) and heavy-duty polypropylene webbing
- Metal cam lock buckle
- Secures furniture to wall
Momma’s Bacon Pick: Safety Innovations Pro-Strap Professional Furniture Straps
While I do believe both products achieve their mission of securing furniture to the wall to prevent tipping and child injury, the Safety Innovations product’s metal lock buckles on their straps put this momma’s mind at ease. While I am not about to aggressively knock down my furniture to completely verify their full strength, the pro-straps are definitely worth the extra price in my mind for their non-plastic features alone. However, I do encourage you to do your own comparison on this important injury prevention product. This is one product review where I do not want to be wrong!
Extra! I found Safety Innovations installation instructions (available here on their website) particular helpful and wanted to include the link for my readers reference.
Q&A with Laurie Nicholson Rahn
Before Brooke’s injury, were you aware that furniture, television and appliances tipping over were one of the top hazards for kids in our homes?
Before Brooke’s accident we were aware (of the hazards). My husband and I had even talked about it, but it was on the “to do” list. I think for many that is what happens. I remember almost installing them myself, but then I did not want to mess up the wall. That is actually why I have carried such huge guilt over her accident; I blamed myself. 2 years later I am finally starting to forgive me. I know it was an accident, but when it happened even the night shift doctor, the night of the accident, was quick to remind us that it could have been prevented. My advice is to do it NOW…don’t chance it. Don’t think it could never happen to you. Don’t look at the piece of furniture and assume that it could not do massive damage. The dresser that fell on Brooke was very light weight from a reputable company and the damage it did was massive. We could have lost my daughter that day.
What advice or recommendation do you have to readers with children (especially with kids under the age of 6) who, for whatever reason, have not yet anchored their furniture, television and appliances to the wall?
To your readers I would say, the harsh reality is that a child is dying every 2 weeks from accidents involving furniture tip-overs. These accidents are preventable, and we need to raise awareness to this safety hazard in our homes so that it becomes just as important as buckling our child’s car seat. If we can raise awareness, maybe we can change the statistics and save lives! For other safety tips even though Brooke’s accident was with a dresser; TVs, especially flat screen TVs that are not secured are becoming a leading cause of these types of accidents. You can never be too careful. I really just don’t want any family to go through what my family did. Brooke recovered 100% and she is a complete miracle. However, the impact of her accident on our family was great. We have gone through many stages of recovery, and 2 years later we are doing well. It’s just a tough event to go through as a family and our baby did survive. I think of the many angels that are lost (every 2 weeks) from these accidents, and I just want to change that…somehow, someway.
Any other safety tips you would like to mention?
Sharing Brooke’s story is the only way I know how to let others know about the dangers of not securing furniture. I know the image of her princess crown is graphic (that’s what we called her ear to ear incision, the only way we knew how to explain to a 3 year old what was happening to her), but if that is what it takes for a family to take the precaution – then it is worth sharing it. No one wants to see their sweet child battered and broken, and I feel sharing this image makes the reader stop and look. My hope is that parents take the time to read Brooke’s story and safety proof their home, so that what happened to Brooke NEVER happens to their child.
About Safe Start Baby: Michele Spahr is a cancer-survivor, mom of four and the president of the mom-owned and operated Safe Start Baby which focuses on eco and baby-proofing products and services. Whew! Michele finds the best baby-proofing products on the market that will help parents keep their children safe(r) and shares them with others. Michele also writes a fantastic blog focused on child safety and did a great post which talks about Laurie’s story entitled Furniture Anchoring: Why Your Excuses Don’t Work. Parents, be sure to check out this post and order some furniture straps if you haven’t properly anchored your furniture yet! Michele wanted me to mention that she is always open to answer questions on safety proofing your home. Michele can be reached at email@example.com or 888-240-SAFE (7233). You can also follow her safety tweets on Twitter @TheSafetyFreak.
- Anchor all furniture, especially TV stands, dressers, book stands, and entertainment units, to the wall or floor.
- Place TVs on low, sturdy stands. Avoid placing TVs on flimsy shelves or dressers.
- Keep dressers and TV stands empty of attractive items which could encourage a child to climb furniture to gain access.
- Free-standing ranges and stoves tip easily and should be installed with anti-tip brackets.
- Consider latching dresser drawers which when open can be used as a ladder for a child climb.
- Push TVs as far back on the stand as possible.
- Consider mounting your TV or purchase a strap to anchor your TV to the wall (see different TV strap products here) or the back of a sturdy stand. Adhesive TV strapping options are also available and can be very effective if used properly.
Furniture Straps Comparison Courtesy of Safe Start Baby *Safety*
List Price: $6.95 for 2-Pack
Safety Innovations Pro-Strap Professional Furniture Straps (Available in Black or White)
List Price: $19.95 for 2-Pack