A new warning for parents about the dangers of one of the most popular and best-selling dressers on the market comes as authorities and the company that sells them have no idea how many are on the market.
Last spring, two-year-old Jozef Dudek’s father Craig put him down for a nap and when he returned to check on his son a short while later, he discovered that his toddler was crushed underneath his dresser. Sadly, Jozef didn’t make it and neither did seven other toddlers that had the same dresser fall on them and kill them over the years.
The dresser in question is from the very popular Malm line by IKEA.
Months after Jozef’s death, the company recalled more than 17 million of various styles of the dresser but IKEA admitted to HuffPost that they really don’t know how many more dressers are currently in people’s homes.
“There is really no accurate count of how many recalled dressers are in homes today,” IKEA told HuffPost. “In the last two years, we have done extensive outreach to consumers to communicate the recall including television ads, social, digital and print advertising, and emails to more than 13 million consumers — which in turn, has resulted in Ikea providing service or refunding more than one million dressers.”
That’s right – in “the last two years,” because IKEA has known there has been a problem with the Malm line of dressers and first recalled that specific furniture line in 2016 – before Jozef passed away.
This issue isn’t exclusive to IKEA. A child is injured about every 30 minutes from a TV or furniture tip-over in the United States and on average, one child dies every 10 days as a result of a furniture accident.
Experts believe the issue stems from manufacturers taking advantage of not being forced to hold their furniture to safety standards. ASTM International (formerly American Society for Testing and Materials) strongly advised that specific safety guidelines be followed. Their research found that “A chest or dresser that is over 30 inches high should be able to stay upright when a 50-pound weight — basically, the equivalent of a small child — hangs from an open drawer.”
They weren’t. That’s because that standard is voluntary. Without a law in place demanding the furniture adhere to those safety guidelines, companies are not compelled to follow it. IKEA says that despite manufacturing dangerous dressers in the past, they insist they have been following safety standards.
“The updated Ikea chests of drawers have been adapted in different ways in order to ensure compliance on all Ikea markets,” IKEA said. “Some chests have reduced drawer extension and on some chests, the protective plastic feet have been moved forward. However, all chests of drawers still need to be anchored to the wall according to the instructions, in order to be safe.”
Attorney Alan Feldman, who is representing the Dudek’s, think IKEA is passing the buck to consumers instead of taking actual responsibility.
“The safety of a dresser should not be dependent upon the ability of the consumer to go out and buy tools or hire a carpenter to affix something to a wall,” he said. “They should be safe and stable on their own.”
Unfortunately, parents are finding out the hard way that they are not. If you own an IKEA dresser, check HERE to see if yours is subject to recall.
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