Childproofing oversight causes dresser to crush an infant to death
“They didn't hear the dresser fall; they didn't hear Ted scream.”
The furniture giant Ikea found itself again in hot water after one of its products claimed the life of a child—the third case in a string of similar accidents.
According to a news report by the Philadelphia news channel The Inquirer Daily News, “Federal safety regulators are investigating the death of a Minnesota toddler crushed by an Ikea dresser in February.”
This, seven months after the Swedish giant disclosed that millions of its dressers are at risk of falling forward if not properly anchored to the wall.
The latest victim was twenty-two-month-old Theodore "Ted" McGee from Apple Valley, Minnesota.
Ted’s parents thought the toddler was sleeping.
But when his mother checked in on him, she found that the bureau had fallen, crushing him in the process.
“They didn't hear the dresser fall,” attorney Alan Feldman said. “They didn't hear Ted scream.”
The report also said that two children, including a West Chester 2-year-old, had died since 2014 when Ikea Malm dressers toppled onto them.
Ikea has since sent at least 300,000 anchoring kits to consumers to help prevent further disasters.
Experts say that tip-overs involving unanchored furniture lead to dozens of deaths and more than 38,000 emergency-room incidents in the United States annually.
Mona Astra Liss, a spokesperson for Ikea, offered condolences to the McGees, saying that safety was the company’s top priority and that they immediately notified the safety commission after learning of Ted demise.
“Ikea has been advised that the product was not attached to the wall, which is an integral part of the product's assembly instructions,” she said.
“We wish to emphasize 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.”
Scott Wolfson from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission also underlined the importance of child-proofing the furniture in the house.
Tip-overs are tragic accidents, but they’re also among those easily avoidable. Spare a few minutes of your life to securing such items and eliminate the possibility of them harming anyone in the family.
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