Child Deaths Prompt Recall of 27 Million Chests and Dressers

A furniture company is recalling 27 million dressers and chests because they have the potential to tip over and crush children if they are not anchored to the wall, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has just announced.
Last year, two children were killed after chests made by Ikea fell onto and crushed them, the furniture maker said. Additionally, there are at least three other child deaths dating back to 1989 that involve other models of furniture. The particular model involved in the two most recent incidents were Ikea’s Malm chests. These models were also involved in tip-over accidents that led to four child injuries. There were a total of 14 tipping incidents reported to the company by consumers using this product.

The recall notice indicates that rather than returning the furniture to stores, customers can either pick up or order a free wall anchor kit that can be affixed to the affected items. In the meantime, the unanchored furniture items should be removed out of areas where children may encounter them.

Tip-over accidents resulting in child deaths have been a priority for the CPSC in recent years. Just last month, the government agency launched an “Anchor It!” awareness campaign in an effort to compel people with children in their homes to make sure the furniture in their homes is stable and secured, with anchors if necessary.

Every 24 minutes, a child is injured in a tip-over incident, the agency reports. A child death occurs every two weeks in the U.S. as a result of furniture tipping.

While safety advocates say Ikea’s willingness to initiate a recall is a “positive step,” it’s one that is essentially a band-aid if the entire furniture industry doesn’t begin designing pieces that are more stable, with small children in mind.

This is critical because not only do many parents not know this is an issue on which they must take action, but because families who live in rentals may not be allowed to install anchors into the walls via the terms of their lease agreements.

The two incidents leading to recalls both involved 2-year-old boys.

The first case involved a 2-year-old from Pennsylvania who died in February 2014 when a chest with six drawers fell on top him and pinned him against a bed.

Then in June 2014, another 2-year-old from Washington became trapped under a chest with three drawers that fell over.

In both cases, the furniture had not been anchored to the wall.

The chests and dressers involved in the recall were sold beginning in 2002, and at most cost $200.

The free wall anchoring kit contains instructions for how to install the anchors and includes all the necessary hardware.

In addition to dressers and chests, the CPSC has worked to get the word out about tip-overs involving televisions, which are also a far too common occurrence resulting in child injury and child death.

Contact our Carolina personal injury lawyers at Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:
Ikea recalls 27 million chests, dressers after two deaths, July 23, 2015, By Jayne O’Donnell, USA Today

More Blog Entries:
CPSC: “Anchor It!” to Prevent Child Injuries Due to Furniture Tip-Over, June 20, 2015, Charlotte Injury Lawyer Blog

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