IKEA Is Recalling Several Dressers After Six Children Were Crushed To Death
IKEA has decided to recall its MALM family of dressers after the several children were killed and dozens more injured by the product. If you have a MALM—I have four—then you know it isn't particularly stable. They're basic, serviceable dressers, but should you happen to pull all of the drawers out at once, the taller units tend to tip over rather easily. If you're an adult, you generally see this coming and can easily push the dresser back upright. However, a number of children have been hurt or even killed by the tipsy dressers, especially when attempting to climb them. This is why IKEA has, in the past, recommended anchoring the drawers to a wall. However, many consumers often fail to do so, either because they're unaware of the warning or cannot do so in their apartments or homes. IKEA is now recalling numerous versions of the product, which amounts to at least 29 million pieces of furniture, according to NBC News. Consumers may return items sold between 2002 and 2016 for a full refund, or receive a partial store credit on select MALM products sold prior to 2002.
Consumer Product Safety Commission chairman Elliot Kaye said, "Consumers need to act immediately because it's a very present hazard, especially if you have kids in your home."
From IKEA's recall:
The recall affects children’s chests and dressers taller than 23.5 inches and adult chests and dressers taller than 29.5 inches that do not meet the performance requirements of the U.S. voluntary industry standard. The recalled MALM chests and dressers were manufactured and sold through June 2016 and include the 3-drawer, 4-drawer, 5-drawer and 6-drawer models. Other IKEA chests and dressers in this recall were sold at various times through June 2016.
Since 1989, six young children have been killed by the dresser, and at least 36 others have been injured, ABC News reports. Two children were killed in 2014, and the most recent death happened in February.
Jackie Collas' two-year-old son Curren was killed in 2014 when one of the dressers, which had been placed in the boy's bedroom, tipped over onto him. She said she'd never heard that she should anchor the dresser to the wall. She described finding Curren trapped beneath the dresser in a Facebook post that is as disturbing as it is heartbreaking.
This past February, toddler Theodore McGee was killed after a six-drawer dresser fell onto him, according to the Washington Post. Camden Ellis, 2, died four days after a three-drawer MALM fell on him in June of 2014.
All three boys' families are suing the retailer. Alan Feldman, who is representing both the Ellis and Collas families, blamed IKEA for not recalling the product then. "When you are familiar with how a product is used, when you have intimate and actual knowledge that tip-overs of your furniture can easily occur and have occurred dozens of times, you can only stick your head in the sand for so long," he said.
If you own such a dresser and it is not secured to a wall, you are strongly encouraged to make sure it is out of the reach of children. Should you wish to return your dress, more details regarding the recall are available here.