There’s nothing wrong with popping your toddler in front of the television while you quickly make a cup of tea. Two minutes of The Bachelor won’t corrupt them … much.
But you’ll need to make sure the room is baby proof, especially the TV.
Don’t worry, babyproofing family entertainment centers is simpler than you think it is. There are a few different ways you can ensure the TV doesn’t go toppling over and we’ve got them all covered below.
But first, let’s take a quick look at the dangers involved so you know what all the fuss is about.
(Before we get into all of that, though, and just in case you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick list of what you’ll need to babyproof your TV):
A Quick Glance at What You Need to Baby Proof your TV
- TV Mounting Brackets: TV Wall Brackets by Mounting Dream
- Anti-Tip Straps: TV and Furniture Anti-Tip Straps by Secure Home by Jessa Leona
- Outlet Covers: Electrical Outlet Cover by LectraLock
- Power Strip Covers: Power Strip Cover by Safety 1st
- Cord Shorteners: Outlet Cover with Cord Shortener by Safety 1st
Why You Should Baby Proof Your Televisions
The biggest concern here is that a television could very easily fall on your child at any given point in time. In the best cases, you’ll prevent your child from getting bumps, and in the worst cases, you’ll prevent death.
In fact, according to Safe and Sound with Amaya, every 24 minutes a child visits the emergency room because of a TV tipping over.
Pretty scary statistics, huh?
All it takes is two meddling hands and the TV (or the furniture it’s on) could go toppling over. If a baby or child is in the wrong place at the wrong time, this can lead to serious injuries – or sometimes even the worst possible outcome, death.
A Few Numbers About Babies And TV Related Injuries
According to estimates by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), between 2011 and 2013 approximately 9,800 emergency department-treated TV injuries occurred to children younger than nine years old.
Two year olds and three year olds were especially found to be at high risk, accounting for most of the injuries.
But of course, it’s important to remember that a TV-related injury can happen to any child at any age. Accidents happen, and they don’t discriminate according to how old your little one is.
So, parents of all children alike, from infants to teenagers, need to be cautious.
What Sort Of Injuries Are We Talking About Here?
The types of injuries kids can sustain because of TVs can vary, but the consensus is that they can be bad – very, very bad.
A report by CPSC in 2015 found that a TV tipping over from an average size dresser can fall with thousands of pounds of force.
According to researchers from the American Academy of Pediatrics, head and neck injuries are fairly common. The extent of the injuries depends on the size and weight of the TV and the position it falls, but it could cause anything from a concussion to a fatality.
That’s right. This is serious business!
In their 2015 campaign, CPSC reported that ‘on average, one child dies every two weeks when a TV, furniture or appliance falls onto him or her’.
Warning – the video below from the CPSC demonstrates how easily a TV can fall on a child and may be distressing to some viewers.
When Should I Start Babyproofing Televisions Around The House?
Deciding when to start child proofing in general is a personal choice, but when it comes to babyproofing televisions around the house, experts recommend getting it done before your little one is mobile. Once they can move around on their own, it’s already too late.
According to Baby Center, babies start pulling themselves up onto furniture not long after they start crawling – which usually happens between the ages of seven and ten months.
So this should give you a good benchmark to aim for.
With that being said, though, no two babies are equally alike, especially when it comes to reaching developmental milestones like this. So, keep a close eye on your little one and their development, because it might happen earlier than expected.
Quick TV Safety Checklist
We go into greater depth about how to baby proof your televisions throughout the article, but if you’re short on time, here’s a quick summary of our recommendations.
Step 1: Secure it – either mount the TV on the wall, strap it to the wall or anchor it to the furniture it’s resting on.
Step 2: If the TV is sitting on furniture, make sure the furniture is sturdy, and – if possible – also anchored to the wall.
Step 3: Keep TV and entertainment electrical cords out of the way as much as possible.
Step 4: Don’t leave remote controls on top of the TV or on the furniture it’s resting on.
Step 5: Keep toys and other objects that might interest your baby away from the TV.
Step 6: Cover the corners of the TV stand. Pointed corners and a little munchkin running around the house do NOT go well together.
How To Babyproof Your TV
There are a couple of different options you can follow to get this done – we’ll be discussing them all, and it’s up to you to go with whatever you prefer.
Mount Your TV On The Wall
If you have a flatscreen TV, you might consider mounting it on the wall. This is probably the safest option as it’s then completely inaccessible to your child.
Plus, it’ll save you loads of space to use for something else.
If you take this route, you’ll need a wall mounting bracket – and yes, it will require you to let out your inner handyman and do some heavy lifting. So you’ll probably need another set of hands to help.
Alternatively, you could always hire someone to do it for you!
Word of caution, though – if you’re renting, you might need to ask your landlord before you drill into the wall.
Check out the video below for some baby proofing tips on mounting a TV on the wall.
If mounting the television isn’t an option for you and you want to prevent TV tipover injuries, you can still secure it to the wall or furniture using anti tip TV straps.
These straps attach to the back of your TV – then, depending on the design, you can usually attach them to the furniture it’s sitting on, or to the wall itself. The idea here is that if a child pulls or falls onto the TV, the straps should keep it upright.
The TV strap is usually adjustable as well, so it should work on TVs of all sizes.
To see what we’re talking about, check out the video below. Please keep in mind that we’re not endorsing this particular brand – it’s for demonstration purposes only.
Secure The Furniture
If your television sits on furniture, make sure it’s a sturdy and baby proof TV stand (this is especially true if it’s a glass TV stand) or entertainment unit properly designed for the purpose.
A baby friendly TV stand is a must.
For example, an old rickety bookcase is probably best avoided, as it may not withstand the weight and is more likely to easily fall. Something more robust is needed for this purpose.
To guarantee child safety, though, it’s always good practice to strap the furniture to the wall.
As you’ll see in the video below, furniture can easily fall and crush a child. An anti-tip safety strap that attaches your TV stand or entertainment unit to the wall will provide extra security.
Don’t Forget The Cords
Once you’ve got a TV anchor set in place properly so not even a dragon could topple it over – have we been watching too much Game of Thrones? Perhaps … – it’s time to fix those cords.
If your child pulls on the electrical cords, they could dislodge the TV, risk an electrical shock or damage the unit. Obviously, you don’t have an invisibility cloak to disguise the cords, but you can keep them tucked out of sight as best you can.
Depending on the amount of cords and electrical outlets in use, you might need:
- Outlet Covers – to cover the electrical outlets so little fingers can’t pry.
- Power Strip Covers – hard covers that encase the power strip while it’s in use.
- Cord Shorteners – provides a way to wrap up excess cord and keep it covered.
As for those cords sticking out of the television, it’s good practice not to let your child play with them or suck on them.
Do your best to help your little one understand this is a no-go zone, and do whatever you need to do to keep them away from it if they don’t comply on their own.
Keep TV Remotes Away From The Television
Babies and toddlers love TV remotes – and if they see them, there’s a good chance they’ll do anything to get them, even if it means climbing the entertainment unit. Which of course, can easily lead to falls and injuries.
So don’t put the remotes anywhere near the TV. The goal is to stop your child from climbing on or anywhere around the TV in their newfound mission to conquer the remote. Keep them away and out of sight at all times.
Similarly, if you can avoid it, try not to let your little one see you using the buttons on the TV unit itself. Kids love to copy whatever they see their parents do, and if they see you do it, they may start poking and prodding the TV themselves.
Moral of the story: Hide the remote … always!
Clear Toys Away From The Area
Any toys or objects of interest should be kept away from the television area. Basically, you want to remove anything that could lure your child.
The TV and the furniture its sitting on should look as boring as possible to your little one.
And actually, if your TV cabinet has cupboards or drawers, it’s probably also a good idea to keep them locked. The less there is to explore around the TV, the better!
Keep Audiovisual Equipment Away
Any audiovisual equipment you have near your TV station, such as a DVD player you use to relax and catch a movie or gaming console you play on, needs to be hidden and not placed anywhere your baby can have access to.
If you don’t hide it, it’s literally sitting there screaming for them to come play with it (more like destroy it).
If you don’t baby proof audiovisual equipment such as the DVD player, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll have to buy a replacement because the one you have will stop working in no time.
They can get a hold of it and drop it on the floor leaving it to break into pieces, they can shove food inside and leave it for you as a surprise to find out, or even worse, they can hurt themselves by playing with these items!
If you have a TV cabinet, storing your audiovisual equipment in there and locking the drawers shut is the best approach.
That way, your baby won’t have access to them at all, and you’ll still have easy access to them should you want to use them when near the TV.
Get a Remote Control Extender
Speaking about cabinets and keeping your audiovisual equipment away from baby’s access, if you plan to go down the media cabinet route, you’ll need to get and use a remote control extender kit.
When watching TV with DVD players, cable boxes, Bluray players or other equipment stored in the TV cabinet, you won’t be able to use your regular remote control, because the cabinet will block the signal off.
That’s where a remote control extender comes in to save the day!
That way, you’ll be able to operate all of your TV equipment and components even when they’re put away from baby’s access.
Cover the Corners
You should always cover the corners of your TV stand with corner cushions.
The fact that TV stands usually have pointed corners does not help with your baby proofing tasks, which is why you should step in and put corner cushions on each one.
That way, if your little one were to bump their head on any soft and cushioned TV stand corner, no harm will be done.
Our Product Recommendations For Babyproofing TVs
Need to babyproof your television and everything around your entertainment area before the next season of Game of Thrones starts?
We feel you. And we’re here to help!
Check out some of our favorite babyproofing products below for televisions, and all the electricals and cords around your entertainment unit.
We’ve also outlined the pros and cons to save you time and help you make the best informed decision possible.
*Note: Upon clicking on any of the links in this section, you will be redirected to the respective product listings on Amazon.com where you can learn about the product’s price, customer rating & customer reviews.
Category #1 – TV Mounting Brackets: TV Wall Brackets by Mounting Dream
We think this TV mounting kit is great because it’s heavy-duty (exactly what you want when you’ve got kids) and the mount is pre-assembled, so half the work is already done for you.
Plus, it comes with all the hardware for different-sized TVs. The brackets will work for most 32 – 55 inch LED, LCD, OLED and plasma flat screen TVs.
Make sure you check all the measurements before you buy.
- Has a heavy-duty wall plate that ensures a secure attachment to the wall.
- It can swivel, tilt, extend and retract for better viewing.
- Easy 3-step installation that should only take approximately 30 minutes.
- It will require drilling, tools and some heavy lifting. But if you want to get a TV mounted on the wall, this will be the case for almost every product out there.
- Cannot be installed on drywall alone.
Category #2 – Anti-Tip Straps: TV and Furniture Anti-Tip Straps by Secure Home by Jessa Leona
When it comes to securing your TV so it doesn’t fall forward, this is our pick of the bunch.
This pack comes with two straps that can secure the television to the wall or the furniture it sits on. The straps really mean business – they’re triple stitched, with metal plates and heavy-duty buckles, so you can rest easy knowing your TV or furniture is secure.
Comes with screws and hardware for installation.
- Designed to secure both televisions and furniture.
- It’s made of all heavy duty and solid metal parts – no cheap plastic!
- Easy-to-follow instructions for installation.
- Might be a bit hard to install for someone who isn’t handy with tools. (But definitely worth the effort, even if it means calling in a friend to help).
- Only fits televisions up to 70 inches.
Category #3 – Outlet Covers: Electrical Outlet Cover by LectraLock
These outlet covers are a neat addition for your TV room.
If you’re worried about your little one playing with the TV plugs or pulling them out of the sockets, this hard-plastic case should do the job.
The cover has two little holes that the cords can feed through, but apart from that, the outlet is completely shielded – keeping your kids safe.
- A large design that covers large sockets
- Easy for adults to remove but tamper-resistant against young children.
- Fits duplex or decorator-GFI outlets.
- Because they’re made for large plugs, they poke out from the wall about 3 inches. If you don’t like the bulkiness, this might not be the best product for you.
- You’ll need to open the cover every time you want to change plugs. But if you’re using it for your TV plugs, which will likely stay in place, it likely won’t be much of a hassle.
Category #4 – Power Strip Covers: Power Strip Cover by Safety 1st
If your TV room is packed out with other entertainment units like gaming consoles and stereos, then there’s a good chance you’ve got a power strip – which we’re sure your little baby or toddler finds very interesting…
Not to worry, though, because this nifty cover can encase your entire power strip and provide much-needed peace of mind.
- Can sit on the floor or be mounted on the wall.
- The size of the cover is adjustable depending on your power strip.
- Made of sturdy plastic.
- If you want to change or remove plugs, you’ll need to open the case. For some people, this can feel like a hassle.
- Because there is the gap at the top that the cords feed through, some people might worry about their child’s fingers being able to slip through.
Category #5 – Cord Shorteners: Outlet Cover with Cord Shortener by Safety 1st
The TV room is a natural haven for electrical devices – you’ve probably got cords going everywhere!
If you’re finding this a bit unsafe for your baby or toddler, then this outlet cover which incorporates a cord shortener inside it could be ideal.
The electrical cords can stay plugged into the wall and used as usual, with excess cord rolled up inside.
- Versatile – it both shortens cords and stops little fingers from playing with the electrical outlet.
- Can store up to 4 feet of cord.
- Easy to use – you just coil the cord inside the case.
- You will need to feel confident enough to remove the existing outlet plate and replace it with the outlet cover.
- There’s a chance it might not fit large cords or heavy-duty plugs. Always check the measurements before you buy.
Made it this far? Good job! You now know most (if not all) there is to know about how to babyproof your entertainment center.
Now that your television is secure and baby-proof, and the area is safe for your child, you can watch The Bachelor in peace.
Well, you can try, at least.
About a minute and a half in, there’s no doubt your little one will lose their favorite toy, closely followed by a dirty diaper, and then inexplicable tears for no reason.
Because, life … They have it really difficult, what do we know about their problems – right?
Anyway, happy babyproofing!
Got your own child safety tips for babyproofing the TV room, or other home organizing ideas to keep a curious child safe? We’d love to hear them! Share them in the comments section below!