After Toddler Is Crushed to Death by Dresser, Ikea Once Again Urges Parents to Secure Furniture

Ikea

Worrying about the little ones is number one priority for every mom, but it's the dangers that hide in plain sight that can be the scariest. We're sadly reminded of this fact as federal safety regulators investigate the death of 22-month-old Theodore McGee, a Minnesota toddler who was crushed to death when an Ikea Malm dresser fell on him.

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According to an attorney involved in the case, the child's parents thought their toddler was napping -- they didn't hear his screams, nor did they hear the dresser fall over. Absolutely heartbreaking ... but, unfortunately, not that uncommon: The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that a child is killed every two weeks by falling furniture or appliances. It says the dressers pose a significant safety issue, and it has issued guidelines to help parents ensure safety for their children.

Ikea's spokesperson, Mona Liss, has informed the public that "the product was not attached to the wall" in this most recent case being investigated. "Ikea has included restraints with our chest of drawers for decades, and wall attachment is an integral part of the assembly instructions," she said.

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This isn't the first time this has happened with Ikea furniture. Last July, after two other children died in the same way, Ikea announced a sort-of recall, called a repair program, offering wall anchoring kits for 27 million chests and dressers free of charge. It has sent out 300,000 anchoring kits as part of its Secure It! campaign.

As in the past, Ikea's latest statement reminds parents: "The best way to prevent tip-over of chests of drawers is to attach products to the wall with the included restraints and hardware per the assembly instructions."

While the company is adamant on continuing to educate consumers on safely securing furniture that children may feel inclined to climb on, the investigation will proceed in order to prevent more of these incidents from taking place -- especially because these circumstances aren't unique to Ikea. 

Despite Ikea's efforts, there are many who feel the company isn't  doing enough to account for -- or prevent -- these fatalities. In fact, one family has filed a suit against the company, citing wrongful death.

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We can only hope that Ikea and other furniture stores alike find a better solution to assure that this doesn't happen again. Sadly, that won't bring back these children --  and our hearts go out to the families.

 

Image via © Philippe Lissac/GODONG/Godong/Corbis

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