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What You Need to Know About The Massive Ikea Dresser Recall

Photograph by Twenty20

If you've got an Ikea dresser in your home, you either need to anchor it to the wall or get rid of it right away, says the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The voluntary recall encompasses some 29 million Ikea Malm dressers and other Ikea dressers and chests of drawers.

“If you have or think you have one of these products, act immediately. It is simply too dangerous to have the recalled furniture in your home unanchored, especially if you have young children,” the safety commission's chairman, Elliot Kaye, said in a statement. Ikea has stopped selling the Malm dressers effective immediately.

Three children have been killed since 2014 after Ikea dressers fell on them. The parents of the third child who died when he was crushed by a dresser that tipped over were renting their home and not allowed to anchor furniture to the walls, as is required by Ikea’s wall-mounting kits that come in the box with the chests of drawers. The 22-month-old Minnesota toddler was crushed to death in February when the unstable dresser toppled over onto the boy while he was supposed to be napping. Theodore “Ted” McGee’s parents say they never heard the dresser fall, or their son scream.

Despite Ikea putting the word out about the danger of the toppling dressers earlier this year and offering repair kits to any consumer who requested them, many were still unaware of the risk for injury to small children. Ted McGee's parents purchased the dresser in 2012, before Ted was born. They were unaware of Ikea's repair program.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said aside from the three children who died from the Ikea dressers falling on top of them, there have also been "dozens of accidents that did not result in deaths."

On the Ikea website’s corporate news section, a post about the product recall warns consumers: “Please immediately stop using any recalled chest or dresser that is not properly anchored to the wall and place in an area not accessible to children."

The company is offering two options to consumers: you can order a free wall-anchoring repair kit, or you can opt to receive a full or partial refund if you are unable or unwilling to anchor the chest or dresser to the wall using a repair kit.

During an event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission did a sobering demonstration of what can happen when children pull on the drawers of a chest or dresser that is not anchored down.

If you have other Ikea chests of drawers or dressers, you need to check the model because it's not only the Malm dressers that are at risk for tipping over. There are 176 other Ikea models that are on the recall list, too.

It’s time to face the facts, parents: We should probably leave the Ikea furniture to the college set and young professionals with no kids unless we're prepared to anchor everything down for safety's sake.

Unfortunately, the dressers are not the only recent recalls from Ikea due to the harm they could cause children. Within the last year, Ikea has also recalled crib mattresses that violated the federal flammability standard or have a risk of entrapment, pressure-mounted safety gates due to falling hazard caused by malfunction, and a nightlight that was deemed a risk for electric shock hazard.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE IKEA DRESSERS OF ANY KIND

  • The chests and dressers that are included in the recall were manufactured between January 1, 2002 and June 28, 2016.
  • In addition to the Malm 3, 4, 5 and 6-drawer chest of drawers and dressers, there are 176 different chests of drawers, including some changing tables, that are part of the recall. Get the full list of Ikea chests and dressers that are part of the recall.
  • Check out the list of FAQs about the Ikea recall to figure out if your particular dressers are part of the recall.
  • If you do not want the chest or dresser in your home or want a refund, you can either return it to your nearest Ikea store, or you can call (866) 856-4532 and Ikea will come to your home to remove the item free of charge.
  • If you plan to keep your chests or dressers and they are part of the recall, they should be anchored to the wall for safety, or otherwise placed in an area where children cannot access them.
  • If you plan to keep your chests or dressers, whether they are part of the recall dates or not, you can still get a repair kit from Ikea for free by calling (866) 856-4532 or ordering your free Secure-It Kits online.

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