Ikea Recalls Furniture After Deaths of Six Children

I have written in the past about recalls of cribs and car seats that can cause hazards to children as well as deadly toys

But there are many other household items that can be dangerous for kids including items of furniture.

Recently, the giant retailer Ikea announced it’s recalling and giving buyers refunds for more than 35 million chests and dressers after reports that the furniture topped over. Tragically, the defect has been linked to the deaths of six children and injuries to many more.

The dangerous furniture includes the popular Malm line which was manufactured between January 2002 and June 2016. The company has also offered to supply free wall-anchoring kits to people who would like to keep their furniture.

Ikea logo

The company issued a stark warning about the furniture.

It said consumers should “immediately stop” using recalled chest and dressers that are not properly anchored to the wall and place them in an area that children cannot access.

But the number of deaths of children makes me wonder if it’s too little too late.

Reuters reported that Ikea started offering free wall-anchoring kits for dressers and chests after reports that two children — a 2-year-old from Pennsylvania and a 23-month-old child from Washington state — had lost their lives as a result of toppled furniture. This week’s recall came on the back of the death of a 22-month-old from Minnesota who was killed by a six-drawer Malm chest.

As long ago as 1989, a 20-month-old girl from Mount Vernon in Virginia, died after a four-drawer Ikea chest fell over and pinned her against a headboard.

The company has received reports of at least 41 cases of Malm chests and dressers tipping over, leading to 17 injuries to children, as well as the three deaths. It received another 41 complaints about its older models of drawers and chests that were linked to the deaths of three children and injured 19 others.

Tip-related incidents appear to go under reported. Elliot Kay, chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, a child dies every week from an item such as a piece of furniture or a TV falling over. You can read the statement from the commission here.

Malm dressers are a staple of Ikea’s furniture sales.  They retailed for $70 to $200, according to Ikea.

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Bill O'Mara

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