IKEA Dressers Recalled Due to Risk of Tip-Over Accidents
Any parent of a young child is bound to have stories about their kid getting into something they’re not supposed to. It’s perfectly normal for a child to want to explore their surroundings, but our homes are full of things that could be quite dangerous to a curious young child. This is why so many parents start looking for ways to childproof their homes as soon as the child starts to crawl. They make sure to put gates on doorway that lead to stairs, put covers on electrical outlets, lock the cabinets, and make sure the cords on blinds and curtains are kept out of reach. But how secure is your furniture?
As children learn to stand and walk on their own, they often use things like tables, bookshelves and dressers to pull themselves up. Unfortunately, this can cause bookshelves and dressers to tip over and fall, injuring or even killing the child. Sometimes, these types of furniture have a flawed, top-heavy design that can cause them to tip over without warning or even with proper use. These types of accidents are known as tip-over accidents.
IKEA has recently come under fire for tip-over accidents associated with their Malm series of dressers. After two children were killed by these dressers falling over onto them in 2014, IKEA launched a repair program that involved sending wall anchors to consumers. However, when a third child was killed by a Malm dresser in February 2016, product safety advocates voiced concerns that a repair program simply wasn’t enough to prevent these tragedies. The parents of the third child who was killed by a falling Malm dresser said they were unaware of the repair program.
In late June 2016, IKEA announced a recall of all Malm-series dressers, plus several other models of dressers, and stopped selling Malm dressers online and in stores. These dressers have been found to not meet voluntary industry standards for stability and therefore pose a safety hazard, particularly to young children. If you have these dressers in your home, you can contact IKEA and they will send a crew to your home to either secure it to the wall for you or to remove the dresser from your home and issue a refund or store credit.
The tragic deaths of these three children shed light on a much larger problem. IKEA furniture is far from being the only furniture company whose products have been involved in tip-over accidents. Over 30,000 people are injured every year in tip-over accidents and about 430 people are killed. 87% of people who are killed in tip-over accidents are children under the age of 10. Although most furniture manufacturers have been providing wall anchoring systems with their products for years, many consumers either don’t use them or aren’t able to because they live in a rental property, so product safety advocates want to make products safer even without wall anchoring. According to an article from Philly.com, many safety advocates believe that tip-over accidents are largely preventable and have been urging for stability standards for television and furniture to be reformed. However, their efforts are often met by resistance from furniture manufacturers who are concerned that it would drive up the cost of production.