Is Your Kid’s Bedroom Furniture Dangerous?

Recently,  IKEA recalled it’s Malm chests and dressers that are used in many kids and adult bedrooms. These dressers are really just a small example of the dangers of  furniture and television tipping dangers throughout the home.

We all know the children like to climb and the reality is that any chest, dresser or shelf could potentially tip over if not attached to the wall.   This is especially true of lightweight or top heavy pieces.

The reality is that many pieces of furniture throughout the home should be secured to the wall.

When our kids were toddlers, we went throughout the house tugging on furniture like they might when trying to learn how to walk to climb.  You’d be surprised how many pieces of furniture like shelves, dressers or TVs will fall right over onto a child.

A child dies every two weeks and a child is injured every 24 minutes in the U.S. from furniture or TVs tipping over, according data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

CPSC and IKEA received a report that in February 2014, a 2-year-old boy from West Chester, Pa. died after a MALM 6-drawer chest (48 3/8 inches high) tipped over and fatally pinned him against his bed. CPSC and IKEA also received a report that in June 2014, a 23-month old child from Snohomish, Wash. died after he became trapped beneath a 3-drawer (30 ¾ inches high) MALM chest that tipped over.

Neither chest had been secured to the wall.  IKEA and CPSC have also received 14 reports of tip-over incidents involving MALM chests, resulting in four injuries. Since 1989, IKEA is aware of three additional reports of deaths from tip-overs involving other models of IKEA chests and dressers.

To help prevent injuries and deaths, CPSC and IKEA urge consumers to securely anchor furniture and TVs to prevent these tragedies and make their home a safer place.

In regards to IKEA furniture, the company received reports of two children who died after MALM chests tipped over and fell on them.  IKEA recommends that consumers should immediately stop using all IKEA children’s chests and dressers taller than 23 ½ inches and adult chests and dressers taller than 29 ½ inches, unless they are securely anchored to the wall.  The free wall anchoring kit should be used to secure MALM and other IKEA chests and dressers to the wall.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with IKEA North America, of Conshohocken, Pa, is also announcing a repair program that includes a free wall anchoring kit, for their MALM 3- and 4-drawer chests and two styles of MALM 6- drawer chests, and other chests and dressers.  The chests and dressers can pose a tip-over hazard if not securely anchored to the wall. Please click on the link and request  your repair kit if you own any of this furniture.

IKEA is offering U.S. consumers a wall anchoring repair kit free of charge for use with the MALM chests, IKEA children’s chests and dressers taller than 23 ½ inches, and IKEA adult chests and dressers taller than 29 ½ inches. The kit contains replacement tip-over restraints for use by any consumer who has not secured their IKEA chest or dresser to the wall. The kit also includes complete wall anchoring hardware, instructions and warning labels to be affixed to the furniture.

You could also visit an IKEA retail store, go to www.IKEA-USA.com/saferhomestogether, or call (888) 966-4532.

CPSC and IKEA are urging consumers to inspect their IKEA chests and dressers to ensure that they are securely anchored to the wall. Consumers should move unanchored chests and dressers into storage or other areas where they cannot be accessed by children until the chests and dressers are properly anchored to the wall.

Furniture wall straps and TV anchors can also be purchased at most home improvement stores and even Amazon for other furniture in your home. They are a crucial toddler and little kid safety item.

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In good health,

Dr. Jenkins

 

J Lee Jenkins, MD, MSc, FACEP is a practicing board-certified emergency physician and researcher in emergency public health. She can also be found on twitter (twitter.com/jleejenkins) and Facebook (J Lee Jenkins MD).

Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. This blog is not intended to provide personal medical advice. As always, please consult with your personal doctor prior to making any changes to your health regimen.

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