According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, a child dies every two weeks in the U.S. as a result of injuries from improperly secured items in the home like furniture, appliances, and televisions. Every two weeks.
IKEA offered free wall anchoring repair kits for 27 million dressers this week after two children died from injuries after the dressers tipped and pinned them. From Babycenter:
“In 2014, a 2-year-old boy from West Chester, Pa., died after a MALM six-drawer chest tipped over and pinned him against his bed. Another 2014 incident involved a 23-month-old boy from Snohomish, Wash., who died after becoming trapped under a three-drawer MALM chest that had fallen on him. A total of 14 other tip-over reports have been received, resulting in four injuries.”
This is the unit:
In addition to providing free wall anchoring kits to their customers, the company also released an informative guide to help parents secure all of their furniture properly.
Many parents (myself included) may look at a chest of drawers like this and not even think it would be in danger of tipping. I know the only items secured in my home are the taller chests. This guide reminds us all “better safe than sorry.” Also, IKEA furniture is lighter and easier to topple. I have an antique chest of drawers in teak that takes 2 adults to even budge. Furniture isn’t really made like that anymore.
There have been a lot of “watch your kids – it’s not IKEA’s fault” responses. Yes, parents should watch their children. But accidents happen and it’s refreshing to see a company respond in a way that is swift and informative. They’ve provided information that will help all parents secure the items in their homes properly.
It’s a good reminder that televisions, furniture, and heavy appliances need to be secured. Televisions don’t come with safety straps — and they should. But they can generally be found in any store selling electronics, and on Amazon. A falling television sends a child to the ER every thirty minutes! Yet it’s still not required that television manufacturers include safety straps with their products.
“We know that low-cost anchoring devices are effective in preventing tip-over incidents,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “I urge parents to anchor their TVs, furniture and appliances and protect their children. It takes just a few minutes to do and it can save lives.”
Visit IKEA’s Creating Safer Homes Together for tips on how to make your home safer.