Two-year-old killed when recalled Ikea dresser fell on him
Last year Ikea recalled one of its most popular dressers because of its propensity to tip over if not secured to a wall.
This came after several children were reported to have died as a result of the same type of dresser toppling on them.
And now another child has been killed in the same way – despite Ikea clearly stating in their assembly instructions that the product can pose a risk of toppling over if not attached properly to a wall.
According to ABC News, two-year-old Jozef Dudek from California was killed when a three-drawer Ikea dresser tipped over and crushed him during naptime.
The family’s solicitor, Daniel J. Mann, said the accident happened in May this year, and no one else was in the room.
“It fell over on top of him,” Mann explained, adding that the family is “absolutely distraught” over what happened. “It didn’t contact any furniture.”
According to child safety advocates, Dudek's death is the eighth reported child fatality involving the same dresser from the Swedish furniture giant, who went to the step of recalling millions of these dressers last year, as it turns out they are unstable if not properly anchored to the wall. When not attached properly, these products pose a serious hazard, especially to young children.
In a statement issuesd to ABC News, Ikea said, “Our hearts go out to the affected family, and we offer our sincere condolences during this most difficult time.” The company added that “the initial investigation indicates that the chest involved in this incident had not been properly attached to the wall.”
The 29 million recalled chests and dressers include various Malm three-, four-, five- and six-drawer models, as well as other chests and dressers that were sold by Ikea. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recall notice is here.
At the time, Ikea publicized the recall through website, social media and email campaigns, as well as through news stories and a national advertising campaign using TV, print, radio, digital and social media.
Speaking to HerFamily today, Ikea said it was "deeply saddened" by the death and reiterated its advice to always attach the Malm products to a wall.
"We are committed to raising awareness of the tip over risks of all furniture and how to prevent accidents from happening through our “Secure it!” campaign," said Donna Moore, Country Customer Relations Manager at IKEA UK and Ireland.
"We urge all customers to check their chests of drawers are securely anchored to the wall. Any customer is welcome to contact us on 01 541 3300 to request a free replacement restraint kit.
"Alternatively, should any customer be unhappy with their product, they can return it to the IKEA store in line with our returns policy."
However, several safety watchdogs and health groups in the US are not happy with the efforts made by the furniture giant, and have issued a joint statement offering condolences to the families and calling for Ikea to do more to forcefully communicate the hazard to the public.
“From the delay in issuing a recall to lackluster efforts by Ikea to fully communicate the hazard and the recall to the public – relying instead on soft messages on securing any and all furniture – this death highlights the risks to children of tip-over incidents. Companies must be held accountable for their products’ safety and the CPSC must be strong enough to force companies to take action in ways that successfully get recalled products out of homes,” the groups said.