March 5, 2014
TV and furniture tip overs

Every year many children are injured from furniture or appliances tipping onto them. Children are naturally inquisitive and will not always use furniture as it is intended – for example, they may use bookcases and shelves as a ladder to gain access to reach an item that is stored up high.

Between 2006 – 2010, 297 Victorian children aged 0-14 years presented to emergency departments with an injury resulting from a TV tip over. The majority of incidents involved children under 4 years of age, with the peak of incidents occurring in children aged 2 years.

Blake’s Story

Kidsafe and the ACCC have partnered to launch a new campaign about the dangers of furniture and TV tip overs. As part of the campaign, parents Tim and Kirstie bravely share the story of their 3-year-old son Blake Shaw, who tragically died when a freestanding bookcase fell on him in August 2016.

The good news is that there are some simple measures you can take around your home to keep your children safe, including:

  • Choosing furniture items with a broad and stable base
  • Testing the stability of furniture to make sure it is stable (e.g. pull out top drawers of a chest of drawers and apply a little pressure to see how stable it is; make sure the drawers do not fall out easily)
  • Securing any unstable furniture and items to the wall or floor with furniture brackets and/or anchors (some furniture products will come with these products, otherwise you can purchase them from hardware stores)
  • Placing locking devices on all drawers to prevent children opening them and using them as steps
  • Not placing heavy items on the top shelves or in top drawers as this can make furniture unstable
  • Removing items from the top of the TV or furniture that might tempt young children to climb, such as toys, lollies and remote controls.
  • Anchoring your flat screen TV to the wall or cabinet
  • Pushing the TV as far back as possible on the TV stand