Furnishings giant IKEA is voluntarily recalling a whopping 29 million dressers after 6 children have been crushed to death beneath them, says the Consumer Products Safety Commission.
“Enough is enough,” CPSC chairman Elliot Kaye told ABC News’ David Kerley. “These are inherently very dangerous and unstable products if children are around them.”
The CPSC and IKEA also say that an additional 36 children have been hurt by the dressers, which are prone to tip over if they aren’t anchored to the wall. The injuries and deaths have occurred over a span of 27 years—since 1989.
IKEA is offering a refund or repair kit for the MALM dressers and other styles affected by the recall. Full refunds are only available for dressers manufactured after 2002. Though this is considered a recall, customers should not RETURN the dressers, they should pick up a repair kit at the store and install it, or file their claim for a refund at the store. USA Today says, “Consumers should move unanchored chests and dressers into storage or other areas where they cannot be accessed by children until the chests and dressers are properly anchored.”
In a statement about the recall, IKEA said, “a child in the US dies every two weeks from furniture, appliances, or TVs tipping over,” stressing that it instituted a repair kit program last year “to communicate the importance of wall attachment, which resulted in the distribution of 300,000 kits to consumers who had not used their original hardware.”
“Since then, we have been in close contact with the CPSC to evaluate the success of the repair program and the impact it is having on consumers’ actions. We are announcing this recall today given the recent tragic death of a third child,” the statement said, referring to the number of children killed by MALM dressers. Three other children have been killed by other-style IKEA chests.
“It is clear that there are still unsecured products in customers’ homes, and we believe that taking further action is the right thing to do,” Ikea continued in the statement. “We will continue to work collaboratively with the CPSC on tip-over prevention, development of the ASTM standard, and innovations that will enhance product safety and further reduce the risk of tip-overs.”
The recall isn’t enough for one mom, who is suing IKEA after the death of her son. Jaquelyn Collas, of Pennsylvania. She told ABC News that she found her 2-year-old son pinned between his bed and an Ikea MALM dresser in February 2014.
“I couldn’t tell if there was a heartbeat, you know I was so afraid,” she said.
She tried to revive him via CPR, but it was too late. Her suit against IKEA claims that the company failed to warn consumers that the “front-heavy” dressers were potentially dangerous.
“I didn’t know to anchor my furniture and, in my mind, I feel that we really shouldn’t have to,” Collas said. “Get rid of it, it’s dangerous, it’s a really dangerous product.”
“You turn your back for a second and that furniture goes over and it can be deadly,” Kaye echoed. “If it is not anchored, it’s not safe.”
I hope ALL parents will take this warning to heart! If you HAVE this furniture, get a refund or a repair kit, and if you don’t go to the hardware store and get an anchor kit for your kids’ dressers! An hour spent installing them properly to your furniture can save your child’s priceless life!