Child Deaths Linked To IKEA Chests, Dresser Lead to Massive Repair Program

Following reports of children being crushed or killed by IKEA chests and dressers that tipped over, a nationwide repair program has been initiated by the retailer to provide wall anchoring kits for millions of customers.

The IKEA repair program was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on July 22, indicating that the retailer will provide free wall anchoring kits and tip-over restraints for owners of about seven million pieces of IKEA furniture that may be prone to tip-over and entrap or injury young children and parents.

The nationwide chest and dresser repair program was initiated after reports were received involving at least two children who died after IKEA MALM chests tipped over and fell on them.

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One report involved a two year-old boy from West Chester, Pennsylvania, who died after a MALM six-drawer chest measuring over 48 inches tall tipped over, fatally pinning the child against his bed. The second fatality report involved a 23-month old child from Snohomish, Washington, who was fatally trapped beneath a three-drawer MALM chest that tipped over measuring over 30 inches tall. In both fatalities, neither of the pieces of furniture were securely fastened to the floor, wall, or contained any anti-tip prevention devices.

According to the press release, both IKEA and the CPSC are aware of 14 reports of certain MALM brand line furniture pieces tipping over, resulting in four injury reports. IKEA’s report stated that since 1989 the company has become aware of three additional tip-over fatalities from certain chests and dressers not being restrained.

IKEA’s repair program is offering all U.S. customers a free wall anchoring repair kit for use with the MALM 3- and 4-drawer chests and two styles of MALM 6-drawer chests, children’s IKEA chests, all model dressers taller than 23 ½ inches, and all IKEA adults chests and dressers taller than 29 ½ inches. The kits will contain replacement tip-over restraints and a full wall anchoring kit with hardware, instructions, and warning labels.

IKEA and the CPSC are urging customers who have not securely fastened these particular IKEA pieces of furniture to obtain the free restraint and anchoring kits and to affix them as soon as possible. Consumers with furniture not restrained should move the unanchored chests and dressers into storage or other locked rooms where they cannot be accessed by children until the chests and dressers are properly anchored to the wall.

To receive a free anchoring kit and restraint set customers may visit any IKEA retail store or go to www.IKEA-USA.com/saferhomestogether.com, or call 888-966-4532.

The IKEA repair campaign was released just a month after the CPSC’s “Anchor It!” campaign. Announced on June 4, the campaign includes public service announcements (PSAs), print advertisements, and other marketing designed to encourage people to visit their informational website www.anchorit.gov, which outlines dangers of tip-over accidents and steps to prevent them from happening.

According to CPSC data, furniture and TV tip-over accidents have caused 430 deaths over the last 13 years and account for roughly 38,000 emergency rooms visits annually. The commission warns that a child dies every two weeks and a child is injured every 24 minutes in the U.S. from furniture or televisions tipping over.

Researchers from the Child Injury Prevention Alliance published a study in the medical journal Pediatrics that found falling televisions accounted for more than 50% of the 400,000 children treated in emergency rooms over the last 22 years.

Children are more susceptible to tip-over accidents due to their height and that they may try to climb on a TV stand or dresser to reach remotes, gaming equipment, or toys. The CPSC recommends that parents never leave remotes on dressers or anything that would entice a child to reach upward and pose a tip-over hazard.

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