Two parents may be joining the families of two toddlers killed in accidents involving IKEA furniture, news sources have revealed.
According to a series of news reports, a third accident involving a 22-month-old has resulted in the child’s death. Now, the incident is triggering a national debate on the issue, and the company as well as the US Consumer Product Safety Commission are working on urging consumers to pay attention to the risks.
The incident, which took place in February of 2016, happened about one year after IKEA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission launched a joint effort known as a “repair program” with the goal of having all IKEA chests and dressers that haven’t been anchored to the wall finally fitted with the assembly necessary. The program, which was launched in July of 2015, allows consumers with dressers from IKEA to receive free repair kits with anchoring hardware and instructions so that consumers are able to attach the product to the wall promptly. According to the parents whose child died in an accident involving an IKEA MALM dresser, they weren’t aware of IKEA’s repair program when the incident took place.
The Minnesota child whose life was lost in the IKEA dresser-related accident suffered the deadly injuries after the IKEA MALM dresser reportedly fell on top of him. Since the dressers and chests can pose a tip-over hazard, IKEA claims in a statement, anchoring the product to the wall is “an integral part of the assembly instructions.” But the parents of the deceased child have allegedly decided to file a suit against the company, which is the same thing that happened to the families of two other toddlers also killed in accidents involving IKEA dressers.
At the moment, the CPSC and IKEA are focusing on alerting consumers about the risks associated with dressers that haven’t been anchored to the wall. So far, IKEA and the CPSC have been able to send 300,000 anchoring kits to consumers who hadn’t anchored their dressers or chests to the wall.
According to the CPSC’s “Secure It!” campaign, one child dies every week when TV sets or other pieces of furniture tip over them, causing deadly injuries. Also, about three children are injured per hour in similar accidents across the country. Most of the incidents take place in bedrooms, which may explain the gravity of the incidents, considering that parents may be away in other rooms of the house when the accidents take place.
Children are naturally curious. Keeping them from attempting to lean against and then attempt to climb on furniture may be hard to do. But if pieces of furniture that may expose consumers to tip-over hazards are anchored, incidents won’t happen.
Parents are being urged to pay attention to this report and incident, and make sure that all unanchored dressers are anchored immediately in order to make sure that their children are safe at all times, even when parents or other adults are not in the room with them.