NEW YORK - IKEA is recalling 29 million chests and dressers after six children, including one from Minnesota, were killed when the furniture toppled over and fell on them.
The company says that all chests and dressers should be attached to a wall to prevent them from toppling over. IKEA says anyone who owns a chest or dresser that is not mounted to a wall should remove them out of reach from children.
IKEA is offering free kits to attach the chests and dressers to a wall. Customers can also ask IKEA for a full refund.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says that at least six children, all of whom were 3 years old or younger, were killed when an IKEA chest or dresser fell on them.
In July 2015, after the deaths of two young children, IKEA announced a repair program for the dressers that included a free wall-mounting kit to help reduce tipping accidents. However, in February 2016, a 22-month-old boy from Apple Valley, Minn. died when a six-drawer MALM chest fell on top of him.
IKEA reports they've also been notified of more than 40 tip-over incidents involving the MALM dressers and chests, resulting in 17 injuries to kids between the ages of 19 months and 10 years.
Julie Philbrook, a registered nurse at Hennepin County Medical Center, helps families prevent accidents as a Trauma Prevention Specialist.
She says the IKEA dresser accidents aren’t limited to the Malm dresser but any piece of furniture that can be climbed on and isn’t secure.
“I think more importantly is looking at your whole home from a child’s perspective and what is intriguing to them. Let’s say you’ve got the TV on top of these dressers, which we do not recommend at all, especially with the flat screens,” said Philbrook. “Or, are you putting toys on top of the dresser? Have you set their pacifier down? Even letting a child play in the bottom drawer is inviting a child to think it’s okay to open the drawer, and again, you have to think like a child.”
Philbrook says installing a wall mount could still be challenging for many families, from a cost standpoint, or for families renting their home or apartment who are reluctant to adjust a wall.
“Because they don't want to lose their damage deposit which is a very legitimate concern, why you need to talk with your landlord and discuss why, the safety reasons, and do it with them,” said Philbrook.
Another resort Philbrook recommends is getting rid of the furniture all together or putting it in a room that is off limits for children.
“When you have a child, your home is not going to look perfect and you might have to move things around, put it away from the interest level,” said Philbrook.
For more information about the recall, click here.