Parents of toddlers are being reminded about how easy it is for a fatality to happen in the home this festive season.
In the last 15 years at least 14 children under the age of nine years old have died from furniture falling on them in Australia.
The statistic is frightening however proves as a stern reminder to make sure all new furniture or TV’s which you may be receiving this Christmas, are securely installed.
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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have given their tips for parents when it comes to buying and setting up furniture in the home:
- Purchase low-set furniture or furniture with sturdy, stable and broad bases.
- Look for furniture that comes with safety information and equipment for anchoring it to the walls.
- Test the furniture in the shop – make sure it is stable. For example, pull out the 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.
- Attach, mount, bolt or otherwise secure furniture to walls and floors.
- Do not put heavy items on top shelves of bookcases.
- Place televisions at the back of cabinets or secure them to the wall.
- Discourage small children from climbing on furniture.
- Do not put tempting items such as favourite toys on top of furniture that can encourage children to climb up and reach.
- Do not place unstable furniture near where children play.
- Put locking devices on all drawers to prevent children opening them and using them as steps
A confronting safety video, produced as part of a campaign by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission called ‘Anchor it and Protect a Child’ shows how easily it is for an accident to happen when furniture isn’t properly secured.
The caption of the video reads: “On average, one child dies every two weeks when a TV, furniture or appliance falls onto him or her. By anchoring large furniture, televisions and appliances, these terrible tragedies can be prevented.”
Warning – Readers may find this video confronting.