April 22, 2016 — USA Today reports that a third child has died after being crushed under an IKEA dresser that was part of a safety campaign last year, leading some to question why the products are still being sold.
Two months ago, a 22 month-old boy from Minnesota named Theodore “Ted” McGee died after tipping an Ikea MALM dresser on top of himself in his room while his parents thought he was napping.
At least two other young boys have died in similar accidents. In Pennsylvania, a Malm 6-drawer dresser tipped over and fatally pinned a 2 year-old boy against his bed in February 2014. Just four months later, a 23 month-old boy in Washington state died after he was trapped under a Malm 3-drawer dresser.
The parents of both of those children filed lawsuits against Ikea. They say Ikea knows the dressers are unstable, but continues to sell them anyway. They also say the design does not meet the furniture industry’s standards for stability, which Ikea says is not mandatory.
Ikea and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a recall for about 27 million of the chests and dressers in July 2015.
However, Ikea did not ask customers to return the products for a refund — instead, they reiterated the importance of securing furniture to the wall and provided free wall-anchoring kits to consumers who did not have the original kit that came with the furniture.
With millions of dressers already sold and more on the way, these warnings may not be adequate. Most people do not nail their furniture to the wall. One critic wrote on Pop Sugar:
“This shouldn’t be enough. When an Ikea bat cape can be recalled because a fabric fastener could potentially cause the risk of strangulation, why isn’t a sizable piece of furniture that can and has caused three separate child deaths still being manufactured and sold as is?”
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