Toddler Ted McGee was tragically crushed to death by IKEA furniture, unfortunately, this is now the 3rd incident [Update October 2017, now 8 children] 1 with this style of IKEA furniture.
The main problem seems to stem from people not installing the safety devices, that screw these objects to the walls. It is something that has been part of IKEA furniture for decades and if ignored could lead to tragic incidents like this.
All three fatal tipping incidents involved furniture from the Malm range, the unit in question costs £99 in the UK.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the mother Janet McGee put her 22-month-old son Ted to bed for a nap and was checking on him every 20-minutes.
On the last check she opened the door and found the bed empty, presuming he had woken and was hiding she looked for him but then she saw the six-drawer dresser on top of him.
Although no tragedies have been reported in the UK, parents are being urged to make sure they use the supplied fittings that come with the furniture which are used to fix any large furniture to the wall (e.g. bookcases/cabinets etc)
A spokesman for IKEA said:
“We at IKEA offer our deepest condolences to the McGee family.
“At IKEA, we believe children are the most important people in the world and the safety of our products is our highest priority.
“Upon being informed of this incident IKEA US immediately reported it to the authorities and an investigation is taking place.
“IKEA US has been advised that the product was not attached to the wall, which is an integral part of the products’ assembly instructions.”
He added: “We wish to emphasise that 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.
“IKEA has included restraints with our chest of drawers for decades, and wall attachment is an integral part of the assembly instructions.”
The furniture is sold in UK stores so it’s vital that you read the safety instructions, especially if you’ve got small children. You can order free replacement parts or contact Ikea on 0203 545 0010 to discuss any issues/questions you may have.
October 2017 has seen the latest death, this time of Jozef Dudek who was crushed when the chest of drawers fell on him
Daniel Mann, the Dudek family’s lawyer, told The Inquirer:
‘Jozef’s tragic death was completely avoidable. ‘What makes this death more heartbreaking is the fact that last year’s so-called recall was poorly publicized by Ikea and ineffective in getting these defective and unstable dressers out of children’s bedrooms across the country.