Product Defects and Child Safety

Baby opening drawer with clothes on wooden furniture - home interior
Baby opening drawer with clothes on wooden furniture - home interior
More Warnings of Child Safety from IKEA

One of the world’s leading home furnishings retailers, IKEA, opened its doors in Las Vegas expanding its presence in the Southwestern part of the U.S. IKEA is known for its corporate and social practices as well as integrating sustainability into its business while offering functional and affordable home furnishings in more than 380 stores in 47 countries, including 41 in the U.S. and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment.

However in recent news, IKEA has had to reiterate safety warnings three times regarding securing furniture to the wall, after a chest of drawers from their Malm budget furniture line has tipped over onto three children, crushing and killing them. The most recent incident in Minnesota earlier this year was 22-month-old, Ted McGee, who became the third child in three years to die by an unsecured IKEA dresser. According to NBC’s Today, the mother of the toddler put little Ted McGee down for a nap, checking on him every 20 minutes until the one time she checked to find his bed empty, only to find him unresponsive under the chest.

An IKEA spokesperson offered condolences to the McGee family stressing also that at IKEA we believe children are the most important people in the world and the safety of our products is our highest priority. Upon being informed of this incident Ikea US immediately reported it to the authorities and an investigation is taking place. Ikea US has been advised that the product was not attached to the wall, which is an integral part of the products’ assembly instructions.” 

The Swedish company was urged to issue warnings in July last year after two children were killed by the Malm line of wooden dressers in two separate incidents in 2014. The furniture is sold online and in stores across the world and IKEA said the self-assembly chest was not anchored to the wall and issued more safety warnings to parents as well as instituted a repair program to the public called the Secure It! Campaign. This campaign will offer any customer who needs a wall anchoring kit to obtain one free of charge via www.IKEA.ca/saferhomestogether or by contacting the IKEA Customer Support Centre at 1-800-661-9807 for one to be delivered directly to your door

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, a child is killed every two weeks by furniture or appliances that fall or topple onto him or her. The Commission announced IKEA’s repair program and issued a recall of 27 million chests and dressers if not properly anchored to the wall.

However, consumer beware, chests and dressers are not the only product to have caused harm to children. Over the past couple of months there have been at least 12 recalls on children’s products or product defects that could harm children. For instance on May 13th, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recalled Graco TurboBooster booster seats manufactured between December 22, 2015, and April 5, 2016. The booster seats were sold with missing instructions for safe installation. Furthermore, the NHTSA reported on May 4th that the automotive parts company, Takata is accelerating its recall of air bags because of a defect causing air bags to unexpectedly inflate and potentially cause injury to the vehicle’s occupants including children.

The Hobby Lobby arts and crafts store is voluntarily recalling two of its infant products due to defects. One is its infant rattle as the seams were found to separate, exposing insides of the rattle, which kids can swallow, posing a choking hazard and the other product is their infant pacifier holders because parts of the pacifier can detach also cause a posing a choking hazard. The TwinGo Carrier company, manufacturer of baby products for parents with twins, is also conducting a voluntarily recall of its baby carriers due to the faulty waist buckle which can break, posing a fall hazard to children.

For more about recent product recalls like these visit the Safe Kids Worldwide’s website. They compile a month-by-month comprehensive list of all child-related recalls collected from federal agencies such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Safe Kids also reports on the latest news and consumer concerns about a variety of children’s products and offers a way to stay alert of all the latest children’s product recalls by signing up to their monthly newsletter.