An 8th Child Has Reportedly Been Killed by Recalled Ikea Dresser

toddler killed by ikea dresser
IKEA

Ikea is known for making furniture that manages to be somewhat stylish and affordable at the same time. The company makes everything from couches that are perfect for dorm rooms to cribs you can buy for your newborn. All over the world, families trust Ikea furniture to serve its purpose in their homes without causing too much strife. But with the deaths of eight children allegedly brought on by Ikea dressers, the company has found itself under some serious fire. 

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Two-year-old Jozef Dudek died in May, and his distraught parents are just coming forward with their story. They say their toddler was resting alone during naptime when a three-drawer Malm dresser from Ikea tipped over and crushed him to death. Jozef is the eighth child to have reportedly been killed by the dresser, and according to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission more than 90 children have been injured in tip-over accidents involving the Malm line.

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In 2014, two non-related toddlers reportedly died after Malm dressers tipped over on them. Following the accidents, Ikea began offering free wall-mounting kits the company claimed would make the furniture safer.


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But in February 2016, another 22-month-old boy was crushed after a dresser allegedly fell on him. Ikea finally recalled the Malm dresser, offering full or partial refunds. Only months after the company issued a full recall, it was discovered that the 2011 death of a child might also be linked to an item in the Malm line.

According to Daniel Mann -- the lawyer representing Jozef's parents -- no one in the toddler's family was aware that Ikea had recalled the dressers. Mann's colleague, Alan Feldman, whose firm also represents the parents of three other boys killed by Malm dressers, told NPR that Jozef's death was "completely avoidable." He added that he thinks Ikea's efforts to recall the dressers were "poorly publicized ... and ineffective." 

Ikea argued, in an official statement, that it spread news of the recall to the best of its abilities, using social media, email campaigns, national news stories, and its website to inform its customers. "We took our responsibility to communicate this recall very seriously and went to great lengths to get the word out," the company's statement read. "Consumers can return the item to any store for a refund, no receipt required. If a consumer is unable to bring the product back to the store, Ikea will arrange to pick it up at their home."


Ikea

Since the initial recall, Ikea has completely redesigned many of its dressers, and claims that all items it now sells meet the industry standard for stability. Still, a large number of consumer safety groups -- including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Consumer Federation of America -- are not satisfied that these changes are enough to fully combat the risks they pose to children.

In an official statement, the groups wrote, "Unfortunately, the communication efforts focused on anchoring a deadly dresser to the wall are not enough on their own. Anchoring devices are meant as a second layer of protection for stable dressers -- not as a replacement for making stable dressers in the first place."

The Philadelphia Inquirer has been investigating and reporting on tip-over deaths for over two years. In its recent coverage of Jozef's death, the publication claimed that in the first six months directly following the recall, 882,500 dressers were returned -- representing only about 3 percent of the total number of recalled dressers. 

More from CafeMom: Kids' Deaths Beneath Popular Dressers Prompts Ikea 'Recall'

Nancy Cowles of the Kids in Danger organization is urging parents and Ikea to take action. She told ABC News, "We have to do better, because these are just ticking land mines in a child's bedroom."

Today, November 22, Ikea issued yet another recall of the Malm line, as well as additional dressers and chests deemed hazardous. This post has been updated to reflect the latest recall. Information about which products are included in the recall and how to participate can be found on Ikea's website.


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