Children shouldn’t be exposed to dangers at home from faulty products. IKEA is paying $50 million to settle cases involving the death of four toddlers from dressers toppling over upon them.
Young children shouldn’t be exposed to dangers of serious injury and death within their own home. Yet after eight toddler deaths, numerous injuries and an unknown number of close calls from a dresser prone to tip over, IKEA is paying a $50 million settlement to the families of four toddlers.
Land mines in a kid’s bedroom
ABC News reports that Jozef Dudak was one of eight children killed over the years from dressers sold by IKEA. The dressers come in sizes from three to six drawers. They are prone to tip over onto a child who tries to pull or climb up to reach the top of it.
Nancy Cowles of the non-profit organization Kids in Danger says that IKEA’s offer of a refund or a free tether anchor has only reached a tiny percentage of the owners of dressers subject to a recall. She believes it could be as low as 3% based on Consumer Product Safety data, leaving potentially millions of unsecured dressers still in use.
That means potentially millions of dressers are still in use and unsecured to a wall, Cowles said. “We have to do better, because these are just ticking land mines in a child’s bedroom,” she said.
Timeline of terror
IKEA’s initial response in 2014, when two toddler deaths were reported, was to issue notice of an offer of free anchoring tether kits. When a 22 month old was killed in 2016, IKEA issued a full recall of the dressers.
Eight different organizations, including the prestigious American Academy of Pediatrics and Consumers Union issued a joint statement calling for more responsible action by the makers of the dressers.
“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.
Dresser tips over easily onto child
ABC News produced a second report on the dresser tip overs where investigators demonstrated how easily it can happen. The mother of young Jozef Dudak expresses how he was “the light of our lives.”
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