Cubby houses & tents

Children are at risk of a range of injuries when playing in cubby houses. Make sure you buy a cubby house that has adequate ventilation and that can be easily opened from the inside.

About cubby houses

Cubby houses are play areas constructed as small, child-sized ‘houses’, usually consisting of one room, and that are sometimes elevated. Children generally play inside and around them.

Risks and injuries

Children can become trapped inside a cubby house if it has doors that cannot be easily opened from the inside. Their fingers can also become caught or crushed in the gap at the hinged side of a cubby house door.

If a cubby house or tent does not have adequate ventilation, children can suffocate if left inside for a long period.  Children can also suffer various injuries if a cubby house or a tent is located in an isolated area or unsafe place.

Buying tips

  • If the cubby house has doors, a child must be able to easily open them from the inside. This will stop the child from being trapped inside.
  • The gap at the hinged side of the doors should be at least 12 mm, so that a child’s fingers will not be caught or crushed in the gap.
  • Cubby houses must have adequate ventilation holes in their covers, walls or doors to prevent a child suffocating while inside for long periods.

Safe use

  • Make sure some of the ventilation openings remain unblocked when the cubby or tent is placed against a wall.