A spate of serious child injuries, one that nearly cost a girl her eyesight, has forced Kmart and Target to make a big change. WARNING: Graphic
A spate of serious child injuries, one that nearly cost a girl her eyesight, has forced Kmart and Target to make a big change. WARNING: Graphic

Retailer safety change after child loses sight at store

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Australian shopping chains Kmart and Target are making safety changes across the country after a young girl almost lost her eye to a store's clothing hook.

The move comes following multiple reports of children being injured by the hooks but Cecilia Chan's became the catalyst for its shocking details.

The six-year-old suffered the horrific injury after colliding with one of the hooks while shopping with family at a Chatswood Kmart in January.

Cecilia Chan almost lost her eye after colliding with one of the clothing hooks while shopping with family at a Target store in Parramatta. Picture: Channel 9
Cecilia Chan almost lost her eye after colliding with one of the clothing hooks while shopping with family at a Target store in Parramatta. Picture: Channel 9

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.

Her eye has since been repaired with surgery but her mother, Jill Huang, told Nine News it would never look the same.

Cecilia's eye was repaired with surgery but her mother says it will never be the same. Picture: Channel 9
Cecilia's eye was repaired with surgery but her mother says it will never be the same. Picture: Channel 9

Just a month earlier, another child was impaled by a clothing hook at a Target store in Parramatta.

The store chains have responded with new safety measures they say will be in place by next year.

Plastic covers will be placed on the clothing hooks (pictured) in Target and Kmart stores after multiple reports of children being injured by colliding with them. Picture: Channel 9
Plastic covers will be placed on the clothing hooks (pictured) in Target and Kmart stores after multiple reports of children being injured by colliding with them. Picture: Channel 9

 

A Kmart Australia spokesman told Nine News the company would be putting plastic covers on all its 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.

Target is also following suit.

According to Nine News, this will involve placing 1.2 million caps to cover every hook at Kmart stores and another 900,000 for Target stores.

Both companies are owned by Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers.

Ms Huang told Nine News she was happy about the changes but was still upset it was not done soon enough to prevent her daughter's injury.

Originally published as Kmart, Target to change after child injury


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