Baby Proofing Your Entertainment Center & TV Wires
Whether you’re single and living alone or you’re catching a moment of solitude in a house packed with kids, sitting down to watch your favorite show or catching up on the game should be an enjoyable experience. Unfortunately, for those with kids, having the latest entertainment gadgets often comes with more consideration than simply deciding how high to mount a TV or what kind of flat screen to buy.
Free standing TVs, bookshelves, and storage units all present a certain risk to curious kids and toddlers. In fact, Nationwide Children’s Hospital estimated in 2019 that one child was injured every 46 minutes from furniture or TV-related accidents with tip-overs as the leading cause of many of these hospital visits. This statistic alone is enough to make any parent think twice about the safety of their TV set up.
Luckily, with some basic safety precautions and companies, like MantelMount, that are devoted to safety, parents can also create the perfect TV-viewing experience in their homes while keeping their little ones safe. Read on to find how to prevent TV tip-overs and baby proof an entertainment center.
What Causes a TV Tip-over?
Every tip-over incident is circumstantial. Whether a child accidentally trips over an exposed TV wire or they bump into a wobbly TV stand in a bout of excitement, tip-overs are unfortunate but they can be prevented by creating awareness around the common reasons tip-overs happen and baby proofing your TV area accordingly.
One of the most common causes of TV tip-overs is placement on a storage shelf or piece of furniture that isn’t meant for a TV. Tall dressers, narrow storage cabinets, and unstable console tables are often much less secure than they appear. And when you add drawers and doors that a child can open, bang shut, or climb, that creates additional risk for a TV to tip. Keep in mind that the safest way to baby proof TV wires and your entertainment center is to safely mount your flat screen on the wall out of reach from a cantankerous young one.
Getting Started Baby Proofing an Entertainment Center
Start by wall mounting your tv.
Many parents and families baby proof the TV area by strapping their TV down to the console or storage cabinet. And while this can provide some level of tip-over prevention, it isn’t an entirely fail safe solution.
Modern flat screen TVs are much more top heavy than the bulky CRT TVs of the ‘90s. This means that they are far more prone to swaying and wobbling than a TV with a prominent base. That’s why the best way to baby proof an entertainment center is to mount your TV on the wall.
We’ll admit, it’s hard to strike a balance between TV wall mount child safety and placing a TV at the right height for the optimal viewing experience. The good news is, many modern TV wall mounts come equipped with articulating technology that allows them to be placed out of a child's reach. Better yet, MantelMount pulldown wall mounts give parents the flexibility to lower their TVs to the perfect TV-viewing height when they’re ready to enjoy their favorite movie or show, and raise the TV when the little ones are active at play.
Our friendly technicians and customer service reps are always around to answer your burning questions about the installation process, but if you feel prepared to go it alone, here’s a good rule of thumb for finding the right height for your TV. Place a TV within 3 or 6 inches of the TV’s dimensions. For instance, the middle of a 55-inch TV should sit 61” off the ground while the middle of a 70-inch TV should be 67 inches off the floor and centered over a console table or fireplace, if that doesn’t place the TV too high.
Practice safety around the fireplace.
If you choose to mount your tv on the wall to babyproof your living room, you may have to mount it over a fireplace. The first thing to consider when mounting into stone or brick is the strength of the material. A stone or brick wall should be able to support five times the weight of the tv and the mount and should be at least several inches thick. This will further prevent damage and, more importantly, tip-overs.
But creating a child-safe living room extends beyond securing your tv. According to the experts at Inspection Support Network, there are some very simple ways to practice fireplace safety everyday, like placing a glass or metal screen over your fireplace opening to keep children and pets away from the occasional spark or ember, making sure vents and dampers are open prior to use, and never leaving children or pets unattended around the fireplace.
Secure any cabinets to the wall.
While mounting your TV will prevent potential injuries from TV tip-overs, it’s also important to secure the furniture around and below your TV to keep kids safe. Console tables, TV cabinets, shelves, open entertainment centers, and any make-shift storage cabinets can easily teeter when kids pull open drawers and doors and venture to climb on top or crawl inside.
Securing these pieces to the wall in studs or with drywall mollies will not only eliminate injuries from a wobbly TV, it will also eliminate the potential for injury caused by heavy furniture falling over if it’s rocked or jostled in any way.
Parents can also take injury-prevention a step further with corner protectors. According to Porch, some great places to start are coffee tables, side tables, and, of course, your TV console. The living room is the hub of relaxation and play, so it's important to cover all of the bases to make it kid-friendly.
Don’t forget to baby proof tv wires.
While TV wall mount child safety calls for installing a TV out of reach from young children, it also calls for hiding wires, cable boxes, a sound bar or game consoles that could potentially cause injury or become damaged themselves. The easiest way to do this is to place game consoles and technical accessories behind cabinet doors and secure your entertainment center’s doors shut with child proof handle covers. Additionally, families can secure a sound bar in place with a sound bar adapter built for their TV mount of choice.
To baby proof TV wires, parents can invest in cord wraps and protectors and secure wires to the floor or behind TV cabinets and cover any unused outlets around their entertainment center with baby proof power strips and outlet plugs. It may not seem like much, but taking these small steps for baby proofing your entertainment center can go a long way to keep children safe and create a stress-free TV-viewing environment.
To learn more about MantelMount, contact our friendly customer service representatives for more information. Or, if you’re ready to get started with an installation today, find a dealer and an installer near you.