Ikea is urging Australian parents to check that its heavy chests of drawers are secured to the wall after the tragic deaths of two toddlers who became trapped under toppling furniture.
Both children died after being crushed under MALM dressers. The dressers, part of the Swedish retail giant’s popular MALM series, are available for sale at Ikea stores across Australia. Ikea announced the worldwide safety alert today, urging customers to visit a store and pick up a free anchoring kit to secure the drawers to the wall so that they don’t topple.
The worldwide safety recall follows the death of American toddler Curren Collas (pictured above) who died in February 2014 when a six-drawer chest in his bedroom fell on him, pinning the two-year-old against his bed. His mother Jaquelyn found him when she went to wake him for breakfast and has now filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Ikea.
Another American youngster died four months later when a similar set of drawers toppled onto him. According to authorities, the dressers had not been secured to the walls in either case.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, there have been three other deaths since 1989 from tip-overs involving other models of IKEA chests and dressers,
In the US, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has recommended that people immediately stop using all Ikea children’s chests and dressers taller than 59.7 centimetres, and adult chests and dressers taller than 75 centimetres, unless securely anchored to a wall.
An Ikea spokeswoman in Australia said MALM drawers were sold with an anchoring kit and buyers were encouraged to use them, but parents can collect a replacement kit from any Ikea store
“Product safety is the highest priority for Ikea, and Ikea chests and dressers are safe when attached to the wall, as directed in the assembly instructions,” she says in a written statement.
The repair alert applies to 27 million chests of drawers and dressers around the world.