Media Release


Kidsafe Red Alert for Parents on Deadly Unstable Furniture



In the wake of the tragic death of a three year old Victorian boy after a bookshelf fell on top of him, Kidsafe Victoria has issued a red alert for parents to conduct a safety audit throughout their homes for unstable furniture.

General Manager of Kidsafe Victoria, Jason Chambers said incidents commonly occur when children climb or pull on furniture.

'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', said Mr Chambers.

Household items commonly involved in tip over injuries include TV's, bookcases and drawers.

Every year many children are injured after furniture items fall on them. 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.

  • Kidsafe Victoria's tips to keep your children safe:
  • Choose furniture items with a broad and stable base.
  • Test 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)
  • Secure 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)
  • Place locking devices on all drawers to prevent children opening them and using them as steps
  • Don't 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.
  • Anchor your flat screen TV to the wall or cabinet
  • Push the TV as far back as possible on the TV stand

Kidsafe Link for Online Tips

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Corporate Media Communications, Kidsafe Victoria - Mobile: 0417 329 201