Children are naturally inquisitive and love to explore their environment – one of the ways they do this is by climbing and pulling on objects, including household furniture. This may lead to the furniture not being used as it is intended. For example, they may use bookcases or shelves as ladders to gain access to an item that is stored up high, which may cause the furniture to topple over if it isn’t secured.
An estimated 2,600 Australians receive hospital treatment for injuries caused by toppling furniture and televisions each year. Since 2001, at least 22 children under the age of 9 have died in Australia from toppling furniture or televisions, with children under 3 years of age at greatest risk.
In August 2016, toddler Blake Shaw was killed when a freestanding bookcase fell on him. As part of a joint campaign between Kidsafe and the ACCC, Blake’s parents, Tim and Kirstie, bravely share their story, providing a tragic reminder to all parents and carers to anchor unstable furniture and TVs.
The good news is there are some quick and easy steps you can take today to help make furniture in your home safe.