Tragically, up to two children die and hundreds of children are injured in Australian households every year by furniture or TVs toppling over.
Today, NSW Fair Trading and other consumer affairs agencies across the country are launching a campaign to ensure parents and carers know how to protect their children and prevent a serious accident from toppling furniture and TVs.
NSW Fair Trading Commissioner, Rod Stowe, highlighted the importance of this campaign.
“Small children are inquisitive and adventurous and they love to explore. Free standing bookcases, drawers, wardrobes and side boards are low enough for children to reach and climb,” Commissioner Stowe said.
“If furniture is unstable or not properly secured, the child’s weight may cause it, or items placed on top, to topple over and injure the child.”
Parents and carers should use furniture straps, angle braces or anchor devices to secure unstable furniture from toppling over and crushing a child.
These devices are easy to install and may be supplied with furniture or appliances at the time of purchase. They can also be purchased from hardware stores or furniture suppliers.
Child-resistant locks for drawers are also useful to stop small children from using drawers to climb up, like a flight of stairs.
Renters should talk to their landlord or agent to get written permission to install a furniture strap, angle brace or anchor to the wall, and ensure that if any damage is caused by the installation it will be repaired when the tenancy ends.
A safety video about securing furniture and TVs has been produced. It can be found at Toppling furniture and televisions: Anchor them and save a child’s life.