HIGH POINT – The American Home Furnishings Alliance has partnered with the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Assn. to help promote and educate consumers about Baby Safety Month in September.
The AHFA said its focus largely involved furniture tip-over and that it helped draft the furniture safety tips section seen on the Baby Safety Month page of the JPMA website. As part of this message, it supplied both retailers and manufacturers social media graphics to help communicate important furniture tip-over prevention tips.
This information specifically urges parents to choose furniture that complies with ASTM F2057, the voluntary stability standard for clothing storage units such as dressers and chests.
“When shopping for a chest or dresser for a child’s room, consumers should consider stability compliance their top priority,” said Pat Bowling, director of communications for the AHFA. “To assist in this effort, many of our member companies have been working this year to make compliance information easier to find in product descriptions on their websites. Some leading e-commerce sites also are joining in the effort. Whether shopping online or in a retail store, we urge parents to confirm stability compliance before they buy.”
In addition, materials in the Baby Safety Month toolkit encourage parents to anchor furniture, which helps prevent tip-overs not only of new furniture, but also second hand or repurposed furniture. The AHFA said such measures are as important as covering electrical outlets, locking cabinets that store cleansers or other chemicals or putting a gate in front of the stairs.
“These other safety measures are considered ‘routine’ when baby-proofing a home, and devices to help parents accomplish these safeguards are easy to find in stores,” the AHFA said “But parents often report that they are unaware of furniture tip-over hazards and are unfamiliar with furniture anchoring devices. Recognizing this information gap, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) launched www.AnchorIt.gov in 2015.”
AHFA’s 2020 safety campaign tells parents to: “Anchor furniture even if you think it won’t tip. Anchor it even if you think they won’t climb. Anchor it even if the furniture is new, and especially if it’s not.”
The AHFA noted while the number of nursery and youth furniture specialists has declined in recent years, tip-over safety measures – including anchoring units to the wall – apply to all clothing storage units, not just furniture designed for a child’s room. Today, the AHFA noted, more than 50 of its members product adult bedroom furniture that is subject to the stability standard.
“With leadership from our member companies, the goal is to make stability compliance and tip restraint information a standard part of the product description for all clothing storage furniture,” Bowling said. “Participating in Baby Safety Month was a great way to shine the spotlight on those efforts and to give more attention to the ‘Anchor It!’ message.”