Eighth child death from fallen IKEA dresser prompts recall reminder

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Amid reports of another child death, IKEA is reminding customers who purchased some of its dressers that they need to be fastened to the wall or they may tip and fall. The reminder is part of the company’s re-announcement of a 2016 recall of many of its dressers and chests following reports of injuries and deaths of children.

There have been 186 reports of Malm dressers tipping; 91 of them resulted in injuries. In addition, there have been 113 reports of other dressers tipping; 53 of them causing injuries. In all, eight children have died from injuries from recalled dressers since 1989, according to IKEA.

The most recent death was in May, when a 2-year-old boy from California became trapped by an IKEA Malm three-drawer chest that was not fastened to the wall. This death prompted Tuesday’s reminder from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and IKEA.

The 17.3 million recalled dressers sold in the United States included child dressers taller than 23.5 inches and adult dressers taller than 29.5 inches. (IKEA previously estimated a larger number of dressers as part of the recall but has adjusted that number.) All were sold online and in IKEA stores between January 2002 and June 2016 for $70 to $200 each. Some additional chests and dressers included in the recall were sold between 1985 and June 2016. The company set up a website to help consumers identify dressers that have been recalled.

Owners of the recalled dressers should stop using them if they are not attached to a wall and should contact IKEA. They can choose between a refund or a free kit to fasten the furniture. IKEA is offering free pickup for those who want to return dressers or free in-home anchoring service on request.

“While the threat is serious, the solution is simple. Anchor TVs, furniture and appliances in the home. And, when product recalls are announced, act on them immediately,” the recall announcement proclaims. It also noted “tip-over incidents often occur when curious kids climb on furniture in an attempt to access TVs, toys, remotes or other desired items.”

In July 2015, IKEA offered repair kits and warned owners of the dressers to anchor them to the wall following reports of two children’s deaths in 2014.

After additional reports of injuries and deaths from the dressers tipping, the company issued a recall in June 2016. The recall included all Malm dressers and chests and some additional dressers.

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