Girl's horrific injury at Kmart sparks major change

Yahoo News Staff
·2-min read

WARNING - GRAPHIC CONTENT: Kmart has been forced to roll out new safety features in their stores after a little girl had part of her eyelid ripped off in a horrific accident.

Six-year-old Cecilia Chan was with her grandmother at a Kmart store in Chatswood, Sydney, when she reached to get a shirt off a hook, lost her balance and punctured her eye socket on a metal rack.

Cecilia’s grandmother was right by her side at the time of the incident, which occured in January this year, Nine News reported.

Cecilia Chan injured her eye on an apparel hook earlier this year at a Kmart in Sydney. Source: nine.com.au
Cecilia Chan injured her eye on an apparel hook earlier this year at a Kmart in Sydney. Source: nine.com.au

Cecilia’s mother was at work at the time of the accident and rushed to the store to meet the ambulance before the child was rushed to hospital to undergo a four-hour surgery.

Though Cecilia had to have another surgery in June, the injury did not affect her eyesight.

Following Cecilia’s devastating injury, Kmart has implemented new safety features to ensure injuries like hers don’t happen again.

The “apparel arm” which Cecilia fell on had a ‘hook’ on the end to prevent clothes hangers from sliding off. It was the hook that punctured her eye socket.

Now, all metal arms will be covered with plastic by next year across all Kmart stores, Nine News reported, after the company carried out a successful trial at stores this year.

"Trials have shown these to significantly reduce the risk of injury or laceration if someone accidentally hits the apparel arm," the spokesperson said, according to nine.com.au.

Plastic covers have been added the 'apparel arms', following a successful trial at Kmart stores. Source: nine.com.au
Plastic covers have been added the 'apparel arms', following a successful trial at Kmart stores. Source: nine.com.au

Before Cecilia’s injury, a five-year-old boy almost lost his eye in a Target store, which is also owned by the same company as Kmart - Wesfarmers

In addition to the some 1.2 million plastic caps that will be placed on the apparel hooks at Kmart stores across Australia, about 900,000 caps will be added in Target stores nationwide.

Though Jill Huang, Cecilia’s mother, believes these changes should have happened long before her daughter’s accident, she is happy to see the company has implemented them.

“They're doing the right thing,” Ms Huang told nine.com.au.

“What I want now is for no other kids to get injured like Cecilia was.”

Yahoo News Australia has reached out to Kmart and Target for comment.

The plastic caps will be added to apparel arms at Kmart and Target stores. Source: AAP
The plastic caps will be added to apparel arms at Kmart and Target stores. Source: AAP

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