A mum hopes the inquest into her two-year-old daughter’s death will raise public awareness about the dangers of not securing appliances to a wall or piece of furniture.
Megan Cammilleri’s daughter Jasmine died of chest injuries after a 37-inch television fell on her in the family room of their Atwell home in February 2013.
The Perth Coroner’s Court heard Ms Cammilleri describe her daughter as a “dream” child who liked to climb on things.
She said Jasmine had begun climbing on the television cabinet a couple of months before the accident. She did not recall ever thinking it was a problem because the actual TV was not very heavy.
The inquest heard on the day of her death, Mrs Cammilleri had left Jasmine to watch a DVD while she went into an adjoining room to make a phone call and send an email.
When she heard a scream and a loud thump she rushed into the room to find Jasmine lying on her back, unresponsive, with the TV, screen up, lying over her chest.
Counsel assisting the coroner, Kate Ellson, said despite Jasmine breathing normally and showing no external signs of severe injury, her pulse ceased after she was taken to hospital.
Mrs Cammilleri said the TV was bought in 2010 and she recalled the sales assistant talking about ‘brackets’ for the television, but she thought it “sounded just like aesthetics. We just thought ‘we’ll do it later’,” she said. “It wasn’t of concern or a problem. Not everyone reads the booklet.”
The inquest was told the instruction manual contained a warning recommending that the TV be attached to the floor, a wall or a desk, however Mrs Cammilleri said she did not recall ever reading the manual and it was “highly unlikely” her husband did either.
Mrs Cammilleri she said she now hoped the inquest would lead to “a bit more of an effort” was made by people selling TVs to explain the importance of securing them using straps and brackets.
“It’s not just an aesthetics concern, it’s for safety,” she said. “It says it in the booklet, but not everybody reads that. If it’s mentioned [that] straps or brackets are highly recommended, that would be a good thing.”
The coroner is expected to hand down her findings later this year.
Outside the inquest, Mrs Cammilleri said she hoped the inquest would stop another child dying in a similar way.
“If I can stop it happening to someone else then I will,” she said. “I just urge people to either put the TV on the wall or use the straps that you can purchase at the shops. You could say the TV itself is not particularly heavy, but if it gets your child in the wrong spot it can be lethal.”
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