Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 5: Facilities, Supplies, Equipment, and Environmental Health

5.3 General Furnishings and Equipment

5.3.1 General Furnishings and Equipment Requirements Placement of Equipment and Furnishings

Equipment and furnishings should be placed to help prevent collisions and injuries, ensure proper supervision while meeting the objectives of the curriculum, and permit freedom of movement by the children. Televisions should be anchored or mounted to prevent tipping over.
The placement of furnishings plays a significant role in the way space is used. If the staff places furnishings in such a way that they create large runways, children will run in this area. If the staff places furnishings that children can climb in locations where climbing is unsafe, this adds risk to the environment. Placement of furnishings should address the needs of the children for stimulation and development and at the same time help to prevent collisions and injury. Equipment and furnishings should be arranged so that a caregiver/teacher can easily view the children from different positions in the room.

From 2000 through 2006, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported 134 tip-over related deaths involving children five years old or younger (1). Additionally, CPSC estimates that in 2006 at least 16,300 children five years old and younger were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms because of injuries associated with TV, furniture, and appliance tip-overs (1).

Industry standards require that TV stands, chests, bureaus, and dressers pass a stability test. If a piece of furniture violates these standards, the product can be subject to a safety recall.

To prevent children from falling out of windows, the safest place for chairs and other furniture is away from windows. Chairs and other furnishings that children can easily climb should be kept away from cabinets and shelves to discourage children from climbing to a dangerous height or reaching for something hazardous.

To help prevent tip-over hazards, CPSC offers the following safety tips:

  1. Verify that furniture is stable on its own (for added security, anchor to the floor or attach to the wall all entertainment units, TV stands, bookcases, shelving, and bureaus using appropriate hardware, such as brackets, screws, or toggle bolts);
  2. Place televisions on sturdy furniture appropriate for the size of the TV or on a low-rise base;
  3. Push the TV as far back as possible from the front of its stand;
  4. Place electrical cords out of a child’s reach, and teach children not to play with the cords;
  5. Remove items that might tempt kids to climb, such as toys and remote controls, from the top of the TV and furniture (1).
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Possibility of Exit from Windows
  1. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The tipping point: Preventing TV, furniture, and appliance tip-over deaths and injuries.