Today, Kids In Danger (KID), Consumer Federation of America (CFA), Consumers Union and the National Center for Health Research called on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to secure a formal recall of IKEA furniture responsible for the deaths of three toddlers in tip-over incidents.
In a letter to CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye, we urged CPSC to take strong, immediate action to better protect children from the tip-over hazard of certain IKEA dressers. Just last week, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported the February death of a 22-month-old boy in Apple Valley, Minnesota, who died when the Malm dresser in his room tipped over on him.
This is the third confirmed tip-over death from IKEA Malm dressers. In July 2015, the CPSC and IKEA announced two deaths from tipping dressers, and launched an education campaign for the products along with distributing anchoring straps, but did not issue a recall. To learn that a tipping IKEA Malm dresser killed yet another child, when the company and the CPSC chose not to do a recall after the first two deaths, is beyond heartbreaking – it is unacceptable.
The July 2015 announcement also did not inform consumers that the IKEA dresser in question fails to meet a voluntary industry safety standard, ASTM F2057-14. While the voluntary standard is not as robust as we would like, it does require testing to ensure each drawer is able to withstand a 50-pound weight, while open, without the dresser tipping over. At less than 2 years old, it is unlikely the child in the most recent death weighed more than 50 pounds. Had the dresser complied with industry standards, he may have survived.
KID is a part of CPSC’s #AnchorIt! campaign and recognize the value of educating parents and caregivers, but more must be done.
We urge the CPSC to take further action and deem this compliance action a recall. We recommend a stop sale of the furniture model that was involved in deaths and others that do not meet the ASTM standard, as well as refunds for consumers who want them. For those who want to anchor the furniture, IKEA should develop a program to provide an incentive for consumers to anchor their furniture.