Celebrity interior designer Nate Berkus hasn't toned down his style since becoming father to daughter Poppy, who will be 2 years old in March, but he has swapped out all his glass-top tables. Nate and husband Jeremiah Brent found out the hard way that these type of solid block glass tables can be seriously dangerous when there are little children around.
Nate told POPSUGAR that Poppy unexpectedly "picked up a bowl and smashed it through the glass coffee table that was in our master bedroom that we've had for years." To everyone's surprise, the table shattered. Luckily, Poppy was unharmed, but Nate and Jeremiah had been on their way to the black-tie Baby2Baby gala and found themselves vacuuming up broken glass in their tuxedos. "I did not think it was a safety hazard!" said Nate, who joked that they won't have any glass coffee tables in the home until Poppy is at least 5. "I thought, we have earthquake straps, we have snaps on every cabinet, we don't have anything breakable low; I just didn't think of the tabletop."
Nate's not alone. Many parents are unaware of just how hazardous the coffee table can be. The New York Times reported a United States Consumer Product Safety Commission study that found 143,070 children age 5 and under had to visit the emergency room in 2009 after table accidents, many of which led to lacerations, contusions, and worse. Even if a child doesn't physically fall into a table, he or she can cause the glass top to shatter with surprisingly little force, as it did in Nate's case. Tempered glass is prone to a kind of exploding effect, while unreinforced glass will break into large shards, neither of which is ideal for small children. So heed Nate's advice and just get rid of the glass-top tables until kids are out of toddlerhood.