Children face many dangers. They are vulnerable on the roads or when they are playing near busy streets. Bedrooms should be a safe place. However, a recent report warned of a hidden hazard in the homes of many infants – furniture that’s liable to tip over.
Earlier this year Consumer Reports carried a story of 22-month-old Ted McGee from Minnesota. When his mother went into his room to check on him she found he was not in bed and his dresser had toppled over.
She found the child under the dresser. His face was purple and his eyes were half-open. A family member called 911. Efforts to revive Ted were unsuccessful and he died.
The death of the child in Minnesota is sadly not an isolated case. Consumer Reports warned the tip over crisis has reached “epidemic proportions.”
Someone in the U.S. is hurt every 17 minutes by a furniture, appliance tip-over, or a TV falling on them, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Estimated tip-over injuries for children under six involving dressers and other storage units rose in 2016 to 2,800 from 2,100 the previous year, or by 33 percent.
The high number of tip-over deaths is a particular area of concern. There were a staggering 195 reported to the CPSC between 2000 and 2016.
Nearly all of the victims were children aged six and under. The revelation highlights the inadequacy of the furniture industry’s voluntary tip-over testing standard.
The standard states any dresser taller than 30 inches should stay upright with 50 pounds of weight hanging from a drawer that’s open.
The voluntary nature of the standard means many furniture makers are not complying with it. They aren’t carrying out the tests or meeting the standard.
The Swedish furniture maker IKEA is under fire for one make of dresser that has led to multiple recalls and child deaths.
Last November, an eighth child died from a Malm dresser that fell over, reported CNN.
IKEA reminded customers these dressers must be fastened to the wall or they may tip and fall. The reminder was part of the company’s reannouncement of a 2016 recall of dressers and chests after reports of injuries and deaths to infants and children.
The recall followed 186 reports of Malm dressers tipping over; 91 of them resulting in injuries. There were 113 reports of other Ikea dressers tipping, 53 of them causing injuries. IKEA said falling dressers were linked to the deaths of eight children since 1989.
We are alarmed by these reports of injuries and deaths. The Consumer Association report highlights some of the most dangerous furniture. You should look carefully for recalls and consider stapling dressers to the wall of your child’s bedroom. If your child has been hurt by a falling dresser or another piece of furniture, please contact our Georgia personal injury lawyer. You may have grounds to sue a retailer or a manufacturer.