Kmart has been urged to fast-track safety improvements after a four-year-old boy was left with facial injuries due to a serious hazard.
Kmart has been urged to fast-track safety improvements after a four-year-old boy was left with facial injuries due to a serious hazard.

Kmart urged to act over horror safety issue

Kmart has been urged to fast-track a rollout of safety improvements after a Victorian boy bumped into a clothing rack hook causing serious injuries months after the retail giant promised to fix the dangerous hazard.

Kirsty Colbert was shopping with her four-year-old son Alexander at Kmart's Delacombe store last Tuesday when the incident happened.

"We were walking along through the main aisle and Alex was holding my hand when he looked back to look at a pair of slippers and one of the clothing rack hooks had hooked onto his face," she told NCA NewsWire.

"It scraped along his cheek and went back into his ear."

Kirsty Colbert’s son Alexander was left with a mild ear infection after sustaining a trauma pressure tear behind the ear drum when he walked into a clothing rack hook.
Kirsty Colbert’s son Alexander was left with a mild ear infection after sustaining a trauma pressure tear behind the ear drum when he walked into a clothing rack hook.

After lodging a complaint with Kmart's head office Ms Colbert said she had noticed rounded plastic covers had been installed onto the ends of the clothing racks at the same store this week.

"They're right up at eye-level so it's not something young children would see until they're right up close to it - but by then it's too late," she said.

"It has to be addressed - they're sharp and dangerous."

Ms Colbert said she had noticed rounded plastic covers had been installed onto the ends of the clothing racks at the Delacombe store.
Ms Colbert said she had noticed rounded plastic covers had been installed onto the ends of the clothing racks at the Delacombe store.

Ms Colbert said her son was left with a mild ear infection after sustaining a trauma pressure tear behind the ear drum as a result of Tuesday's incident.

"That could have been his eye," she said.

"I remember running my finger over the hook that he had bumped into and thought it was a bit too sharp, no wonder it had pierced his skin.

"Other children are going to get hurt - the hooks shouldn't be left there knowing the damage they cause, and this was in one of the store's main shopping aisles, not just down some side aisle."

Celia Chan's injury after being injured at Kmart Chatswood
Celia Chan's injury after being injured at Kmart Chatswood

Kmart had promised to rollout the safety improvements last year following multiple reports of children being injured by the hooks.

In December a spokesman said that they would be putting plastic covers on all apparel arm hooks.

"Trials have shown these to significantly reduce the risk of injury or laceration if someone accidentally hits the apparel arm," the spokesman said.

The change was announced after six-year-old Cecilia Chan collided with a hook while shopping with family at Chatswood Kmart in January 2020.

The hook, which was pointing upwards, pierced the little girl's eye socket when she lost her balance and fell onto a metal clothes rack.

She needed surgery to heal the wound.

Kmart vowed then to install new safety measures by 2021.

Kmart was contacted for comment about the latest incident but did not respond by deadline.

anthony.piovesan@news.com.au

Originally published as Kmart urged to act over horror safety issue

The clothing rack hook Alexander bumped into.
The clothing rack hook Alexander bumped into.

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