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On June 28, 2016, Ikea announced that it is recalling several models of its MALM drawers due to a tipping hazard that has caused the deaths of three children since 2014, as well as 19 reported incidents of injuries to children. The most recent incident occurred in February 2016, when a 22-month-old boy in Minnesota died from a MALM chest falling on top of him. This recall follows an announcement made in July 2015 in which Ikea warned of this potential hazard from these same models of MALM chests. At the time, Ikea offered consumers of this product free wall-anchoring kits which, if properly installed, would prevent the drawers from tipping over and causing injuries.
If these chests are not properly anchored to a wall, they become unstable and pose a serious danger. The drawers are made of light particleboard or fiberboard which may make the base of the drawers unstable and possibly be the cause of this tip hazard if the drawers’ contents make them top-heavy.
Parents and caregivers should also be aware of this hazard generally regarding other household furniture items, especially those filled with weighty items, and those which serve as a stand for larger items, such as televisions. In fact, recent statistics indicate that a major cause of personal injuries to children are tip-overs involving heavy furniture or televisions. Every year 23,000 children (under the age of 9) are rushed to emergency room for injuries sustained from unanchored products.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has urged parents of young children to anchor and stabilize their televisions, furniture, and appliances to prevent tip-over related incidents. In a quest to reach a toy, TV or game remote, or other desired item, young children may use dressers and tables as climbing devices, often leading to tragic results. Manufacturers of such items have long been aware of these dangers, and are required to anticipate the environment of end use, to help prevent these injuries.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is offered for educational purposes only. This information is not offered as legal advice. A person accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney before making decisions that have legal consequences.
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