Death of Australian toddler crushed by TV 'preventable': coroner

The child had pulled the unsecured television down after climbing onto the cabinet.
STOCK PHOTO/123RF

The child had pulled the unsecured television down after climbing onto the cabinet.

Australian mum Megan Cammilleri left her toddler alone for ten minutes to watch Spongebob Squarepants.

But that was all it took for a disaster to happen.

Jasmine Lilian Cammilleri was briefly left on her own in the February 2013 incident, when her mother heard a scream and rushed back to find the toddler lying on her back with a 37-inch LED television on top of her.

The West Australian coroner has found Jasmine's death was preventable and hopes the case will encourage parents to take extra safety measures.

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The child had pulled the unsecured appliance down after climbing onto the cabinet – something she had been known to do.

Megan Cammilleri, who has two older children, told the inquest Jasmine was "not afraid of anything" but had been told not to climb on the cabinet and other furniture.

She said she thought the television was "lightweight" and did not realise the risk to her child's safety by not having it secured.

In her findings released on Wednesday, Coroner Ros Fogliani said a few days before Jasmine's death, her mother pushed the television back because she thought it might be of less interest to the toddler if the screen was further away.

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"Whilst Ms Cammilleri's intention had been to make it safer for Jasmine, in retrospect it may have ended up creating a space in front of the television set, with enough room for Jasmine to climb on," she said.

Fogliani found the cause of Jasmine's death was a chest injury and it was an accident.

But the coroner said Jasmine's death was preventable and the inquest was held in the hope of drawing the public's attention to the potential risk posed to a child if a television becomes unstable.

"Most parents will have experienced a young child's attraction to the moving images, but with television sets becoming flatter and lighter, the risk of them falling in the vicinity of a child, and the damage they can do, may not be apprehended," she said.

"Whilst anchoring a television set to a fixed point does not replace direct adult supervision in the case of young children, it is a safety measure that ought to be pursued."

Cammilleri felt there was insufficient emphasis placed on the safety features when she and her husband purchased the television set, and with that in mind, Fogliani said her findings would be available to KidSafe WA, the child accident prevention foundation.

"It will enable KidSafe WA to tailor their key messages on furniture safety on their facts sheets, publications, workshops and seminars to be consistent with these findings," she said.

 - AAP

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