Thank you, again, to everyone who has left me messages from my previous blog posts, especially the one on Meggie's angel day. I have read them all and since I just can't respond to them all individually, I wanted to address a few more questions that I've been getting here since so many of you have asked the same things.
First off. I need some help. With nearly 830,000 people having read that blog post in the past 2 weeks, I know with your help I can do this. Tonight, I created a petition at We the People. In order to get it to be considered by the Obama administration, I need 25,000 signatures before February 3rd. You can find and sign the petition here Petition to mandate warning labels and anchors for furniture, TV's and Appliances
I'm asking for a law to require warning labels and appropriate anchors (to hold the weight of the piece fully loaded) be sold with all furniture, TV's and appliances. Right now, that is only voluntary and the Katie Elise and Meghan Agnes act from 2005 and 2009 helped to get the standard a voluntary one. While I am happy there is a voluntary standard it's not enough. There is little interest in taking it further by our government from a law standpoint, so let's use the voice of the people to make kids safer! It's worked for plastic bags, seat belts and car seats, why not furniture safety? I was limited in word count so I had to be more concise than I would have liked, but it gets the point across. Please sign and share the link. Thank you!
Second, many have asked how to find the Meghan's Hope Facebook page. It can be found by simply searching for Meghan's Hope on Facebook or here https://www.facebook.com/pages/Meghans-Hope/334925874514 It's not just about furniture safety. I post all manner of child and family safety information.
I am also on Twitter, look for chakragoddess. I'm not very good at tweeting yet. I'll work on it! ;-)
Third, many have asked how to secure their furniture, TV's, appliances and other items in and around your home. Meghan's Hope Facebook page has many of these resources and more in recent posts. I encourage you to 'like' her page if you are on Facebook.
You can find appropriate anchors at Amazon.com here TV safety straps and here Furniture Safety Straps, your local hardware or department store or at other on line stores. My personal favorites for TV's are KidKo and Quakehold products and for Furniture, Safety 1st furniture wall straps and KidKo and Quakehold straps. Quakehold also makes straps for large tube TV's, appliances and very large bookcases as well as for other smaller objects that could fall and still seriously injure or kill a child. "L" brackets also work quite well and are inexpensive and sold at hardware stores and The Home Depot and Lowe's. *note* You need to be sure to use enough anchors to support the weight of the piece fully loaded PLUS an extra 50 pounds (to simulate a child climbing or pulling on it). This means you may need more than 2 straps! Also, you need to be sure to secure the screws into a stud and periodically check the straps to be sure they are still secure. I advise against using 'Mommy's Helper' brand straps or cable/zip ties because they become brittle and break easily and really are not suited to hold heavy pieces of furniture.
A word of caution - many people have mentioned their children had a dresser or TV fall on/near them and mistakenly believe their child was saved by luck, the fact it was daytime and they heard the crash or because they were in the room. Or they have not personally experienced it but believe since they are always with their kids, they are safe. Please don't be lulled by a false sense of security.
While I am thrilled those children were not injured seriously, it was physics that saved them, not luck, proximity or the time of day. Parents have been in the room and been powerless to prevent their child from dying before their eyes from a falling piece of furniture or TV. Check out the video by the CPSC Furniture/TV tip over PSA from the CPSC, it's a must see.
Also, it's not just toddlers and babies that are at risk. Children as old as 10 have been killed by falling furniture and TV's, in fact adults have too, just not as commonly as children. The ONLY way to keep your children safe is to secure ALL furniture and TV's to the wall. Not just in their room, not just dressers and bookcases. Everything!
I'd also like to thank those of you who have complimented me on my writing and encouraged me to pursue my dream of writing a book someday. I really appreciate your support and hope to make that a reality sooner rather than later. If anyone has any contacts who can help me in that endeavor, let me know! Also, if anyone knows how I can clone myself, that'd be most helpful as well! ;-)
I've said it before, but I will say it again, I cannot adequately express the depth of my gratitude for the way Meghan's story has been shared and taken to heart. To know that literally hundreds of thousands of children will sleep safer tonight because of her story brings tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
If you still have a question that I missed, please message me again here or through the Facebook page. It's not intentional! Thanks!