Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog

IKEA Warning Highlights Danger to Children

IKEA Warning Highlights Danger to Children from Unsecured TVs and Furniture

Swedish home furnishings company IKEA launched a repair program for 27 million furniture chests and dressers in July after two American toddlers died last year when IKEA furniture pieces fell on top of them, known as tip-over accidents.

Both fatal incidents involved IKEA’s Malm line of chests and dressers. About 7 million Malm chest and dressers have been sold worldwide since 2002.

IKEA’s repair program encourages consumers to request a hardware anchor kit from IKEA. The kit is a bracket and strap attachment that allows consumers to affix unsecured furniture pieces to a wall. IKEA is working with the U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) on the anchor kit program. Click here or call IKEA at (888) 966-4532 to request an anchor kit from IKEA.

In response to growing concerns about child injuries and deaths associated with household furniture and television tip-over accidents, last month the CPSC launched a public service campaign, "Anchor It!," to inform parents on how to protect children from tip-over dangers.

Unstable and unsecured TVs and large pieces of furniture tip over and kill a child in the U.S. every two weeks on average, according to data from the CPSC.

"Between 2000 and 2013, 84 percent of the 430 deaths reported to CPSC involved children younger than 10," the CPSC reports.

The CPSC released a report in January 2015 which found that a TV tipping over from an average size dresser falls with thousands of pounds of force.

"The impact of a falling TV is like being caught between two NFL linemen colliding at full-speed–10 times," the CPSC said.

The CPSC also reported that 38,000 Americans go to emergency rooms each year with injuries related to tip-overs accidents. A majority of those injuries involved children under age 5.

(link below to Anchor It!: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Tipover-Information-Center/)

The government agency offers these tips on its Anchor It! website:

  • Buy and install low-cost anchoring devices to prevent TVs, dressers, bookcases or other furniture from tipping.
  • Avoid leaving items, such as remote controls and toys, in places where kids might be tempted to climb up to reach for them.
  • Store heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers.
  • Place TVs on a sturdy, low base and push them as far back as possible, particularly if anchoring is not possible.
  • If purchasing a new TV, consider recycling older ones not currently used. If moving the older TV to another room, be sure it is anchored properly to the wall.

Contact Lieff Cabraser

We support the CPSC’s efforts to inform parents of the dangers to children posed by dressers, hutches, standing cabinets, TVs and other large, heavy household items. Furthermore, all manufacturers owe a duty to sell safe products. This duty on the manufacturer includes anticipating dangers that may be posed by products in their normal and customary usage and working to eliminate or substantially minimize such dangers. In the case of heavy furniture, manufacturers should sell these items with accompanying warnings and brackets or straps as part of the packaging so that parents can secure the furniture and ensure the safety of all persons in the household.

If your child has suffered a serious injury from a tip-over accident, Lieff Cabraser can provide answers to your legal questions. Please click here to contact Lieff Cabraser or call us toll free at 1 800 541-7358 and ask to speak to attorney Fabrice Vincent.