NSW Fair Trading and other consumer agencies across Australia are urging parents and carers to ensure their furniture is anchored to the floor or wall, after another child’s death.
Every year, up to two children die and hundreds are injured by furniture, wall decor or televisions falling over.
NSW Fair Trading Commissioner, Rod Stowe, highlighted the importance of the issue.
“Small children are inquisitive and adventurous and they love to explore,” he said. “Free-standing bookcases, drawers, wardrobes and side boards are low enough for children to reach and climb.
“If furniture is unstable or not properly secured, the child’s weight may cause it, or items placed on top, to topple over.”
Australian Furniture Association (AFA) CEO Patrizia Torelli believes “it should be mandatory” to anchor or secure furniture.
“Every time we hear of another death or injury particularly in the case of children, the impact is felt across the entire community,” she said.
Ms Torelli pointed out that furniture design and standards are changing.
“Once upon a time we had heavy and sturdy furniture. Now with new trends, furniture is lighter and not necessarily designed to protect children, but made for aesthetic purposes,” she said.
The AFA CEO also said that parents might like to consider checking carer’s homes.
“With the growing number of grandparents, acting as carers for children, it’s important for them to conduct an audit of their homes,” she said.
Ms Torelli warned consumers that furniture specifically designed for babies and children could pose a risk too.
Before purchasing furniture, Ms Torelli suggested that consumers check to see if furniture bears the Australian Furniture Association Members mark and to ensure furniture meets Australian standards, not international standards.
NSW Fair Trading suggested parents and carers use furniture straps, angle braces or anchor devices to secure unstable furniture from toppling over.