The hubby and I finally got around to doing a little more baby-proofing around our house. We have actually done a decent amount of baby-proofing to date including the following: those darn outlet plugs that make your fingertips bleed when you try to remove them, cabinet latches on most of the kitchen cupboards, and a door knob cover on the door to the basement. There are a few other common sense things that I try to do as well. For example, removing the chair in front of the desk. No chair, no chance to climb the chair onto the desk. I took a surprisingly long amount of time to figure out that simple equation. I left two kitchen cabinet doors open full of Tupperware for Penny to explore. That is supposed to make the other cabinets less tempting. I find that to not be true, but so far nothing from my other cabinets has been broken. Finally, I keep the bathroom doors closed at all times. The toilet is an easy place for a toddler to climb onto, swim in, and drink from. Not only disgusting, but dangerous. I have found, that no matter how hard you try to stop it, your toddler will grow up. My toddler started walking at a mere 11 months of age. Such a tiny thing, with such a limited understanding of right, wrong, safe and unsafe, was roaming my house on little exploring adventures. Now at 16 months, she is a seasoned walker, crawler, and unfortunately, climber. We started to see her trying to climb things such as shelves and our TV stand. While I have read many parents saying they just tell their child no and teach them to stay off whatever furniture they don't want them to climb, I find that my toddler doesn't listen yet. So we decided to strap some of our furniture down--primarily our TV stand and TV.
There are a large number of furniture straps available, though I found none at any store that I went to. I am not sure why, but neither Target nor Home Depot sold anything in their stores. I ended up ordering these straps online from Overstock. I found they had the cheapest price in the end. I bought this setup from Amazon for our TV. When I was searching for what to use, I looked for what had the best reviews and was not terribly expensive. There were other furniture straps that essentially use a zip tie, and while that seemed easier to me, the reviews found the zip ties broke after about a year or so.
The installation is relatively easy. First, slide your furniture out far enough so you have enough room to work. Find and mark where the studs are on both the wall and mark the coordinating location on the back of the furniture. We have a stud finder, so this was pretty easy. If you don't have one you can measure off of a nearby outlet. The outlet box will be attached to a stud on one side. To find which side the stud is on, you can take the cover off and stick something small, like a paper clip, between the box and the drywall to find the side the stud is on. Please don't touch the wires and electrocute yourself. That makes this project harder. Each stud (typically) is 16 inches from the next, so you can measure 16 inches from your known stud, and you should find the next and so forth. You will know when you screw into the wall if you are in a stud or not. The screw will spin if it isn't. Measure nine inches below the top of your furniture, and screw the wall bracket in. If you aren't a seasoned handyman, feel free to pre-drill the hole prior to screwing in the bracket.
After the wall brackets are in, screw the brackets into the back of the furniture using the marks that you made to align with the studs. When screwing into the furniture, you want to use a solid piece of wood or brace from the furniture, not a flimsy piece of particle board. Admire your husband's five o'clock shadow. Note: If you are installing this, and not your husband, do not admire your own five o'clock shadow, as that is typically not an admirable quality. :)
Attach the straps to each bracket, and tighten until there is no slack. Note: In the picture below, the straps have not yet been tightened. Don't you love the monstrosity of cords? I demand that nothing be lying on the floor, so they all get tangled on the back of the furniture.
The TV strap is a similar idea, so I won't go into as much detail. You basically screw the brackets into the back of the TV in the holes that would be used for a wall mount. There was not a great variety of these metric screws included, so we had to go out and buy some separately. The other bracket is then screwed into the back of the furniture or into the wall, again in one of the studs. (Did anyone else just imagine a bunch of hunky men standing perfectly still 16 inches apart?) Attach the straps and tighten until there is no slack. I would be super happy if you would avert your eyes to the dust accumulation. Please and thank-you.
Here are both of the straps in action!
So there you have it. All in all, I think this took about a half an hour total for us to do this one piece of furniture, so not too bad! I feel a lot safer with Penny climbing by, in, and on this to get her toys out. Now the TV and the stand will stay snug in place.
Are you up to any child proofing these days? Have you also bashed your knee more than once on a safety gate? Do you also have a spider man or woman under your wings? Please, share!
Side note: This post is geared to help you in the installation of safety gear in your home. Please consult the directions to your specific safety equipment. I and/or Holy Hen House is not responsible for any damage or safety failures that might occur.