• Sweden edition
 
Ikea gave 4-year-old girl to wrong parents

Ikea gave 4-year-old girl to wrong parents

Published: 20 Jun 2011 07:46 GMT+02:00
Updated: 20 Jun 2011 07:46 GMT+02:00

A 4-year-old girl was handed over to the wrong parents from the play area of an Ikea store in Uppsala in eastern Sweden on Sunday.

"I don't understand how something like this can happen," the girl's mother, Lena Norman, told TV4 news.

Lena, her husband Rickard, and their 4-year-old daughter Wilma had taken a trip to the popular discount furniture retailer for a day of shopping.

Upon arriving at the Ikea, the Norman's checked Wilma into the store's Småland play area, a common practice among Swedish families hoping to make their shopping trip run a bit more efficiently.

"We got a stamp with a number on our wrist, and Wilma got the same number stamped on her hand," Lena told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

After making their way through the store, Lena and Rickard returned to the play area to pick up Wilma only to discover in horror that she wasn't there.

"We couldn't see her anywhere. We thought she was in the toilet, and several went to look. The staff showed me check in sheet and Wilma's name has been crossed off, like the note looks when they've checked out a child," mother Lena told TV4.

Panic-stricken, the parents widened their search beyond the Småland play area and began looking for Wilma elsewhere in the massive store.

Finally, they found Wilma standing pacing in the store's entryway, just outside the play area. Her lower lip quivering, she was clutching a drawing she had made for her parents during her time in the play area.

When she finally saw her parents, she burst into tears.

"We broke down too," Lena told Aftonbladet.

Reunited with their daughter and overjoyed, Wilma's parents attempted to learn from their daughter what happened.

"She's told us that someone said to her, 'Come Wilma, your mom and dad are here', but no one was there to pick her up," said Lena.

The parents now believe that Wilma was checked out to another family by mistake who then didn't realise that the 4-year-old had been released to them, leaving Wilma alone outside the play area.

"Just think if she had wandered off, if she hadn't been standing there waiting. No one knows either how long she was waiting there," Lena told TV4.

The store's duty manager, Veronica Eriksson told TV4 that the incident is under investigation.

"This can't happen. Something went wrong in the release of the child and we're now looking into exactly what happened," she said.

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

07:59 June 20, 2011 by wenddiver
Don't worry IKEEA guaratees that either group of parents will be able to assemble the child properly.
08:10 June 20, 2011 by TheOneWhoTravels
That must have been a traumatic event for that poor little girl.

:(
09:06 June 20, 2011 by Already in use
So this means nobody checks that the kid is picked up by somebody (anybody??) with a matching number?
09:10 June 20, 2011 by Pont-y-garreg
Didn't the other family realise they had an extra child?

What a catalogue of stupidity.
09:28 June 20, 2011 by byke
The idea of leaving your children to the responsibility of unknown strangers in an ikea has always left me wondering. Even from a child's persective, how bored must a child be to want to be entertained and looked after by strangers in a room that is usually boring and dull to say the least ..... While there are a few coloured balls and the odd low grade paper and pens ..... It's hardly a place a child desires to go.

And the same goes for many adults in their stores .... It's one thing to look, but it doesn't mean I want to take that stuff home with me.
10:21 June 20, 2011 by RobinHood
Exactly the same thing happened to me. I checked in my 3 year old daughter, but IKEA gave me back a 7 year old boy. When I got home my wife realised immediately I had the wrong child. I had to go back and change him the next day. IKEA were very nice about it; they gave me a voucher for 100 SEK.
11:59 June 20, 2011 by Strongbow
Step 1. Don't name every girl "Wilma".

Seriously. Call out "Wilma" and half of the children will respond. I wish it was a joke.
13:47 June 20, 2011 by RitaPita
@ Strongbow

That's a good point. For all we know, it was just a misunderstanding and the girl walked off without being noticed.

Funny how absolutely everything gets labeled as "news" these days. I got lost in a department store when I was young too.... it didn't make The Gazette!
14:45 June 20, 2011 by Swedesmith
That's why we named our kids Moon Unit and Dwezel.
15:22 June 20, 2011 by RationalG.
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:25 June 20, 2011 by Kevin Harris
I lost my child in a zoo a couple of years ago. I found him by the elephants. Would the Local like a story on that too?
21:30 June 20, 2011 by spg
Who is worse. The tw@ of a reporter who thought this was news or the tw@ of an editor who let this story in!! See ye local. Going to go to a site that actually reports news!!!
18:09 June 21, 2011 by Soft Boiled
The child wasnt really missing... you need to check the instructions again
22:58 June 21, 2011 by helveeta
I saw this story all over the newspapers at Maxi the other day and first thought, why would the wrong parents accept the child they knew it wasn't theirs? Now I read the whole story and it just sounds really fishy. Also leaving your child, especially if you have only one and they are younger than 5, in the dirty small "play" area at Ikea seems really unsafe to me.
15:58 July 5, 2011 by jacquelinee
@Śwedesmith.... Since Frank Zappa is dead, you must be his wife if your kids are named "Moon Unit" and "Dwezel"
Today's headlines
Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat
Rickard Rundgren Björk of the coastguard services speaks to the media after the rescue operation on April 19th 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin /TT

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat

Three Saturday morning sailors had a lucky escape after their small boat collided and sank after it crashed into a cruise ship whilst sailing in the Stockholm archipelago. READ () »

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK
Sofie Marie Jansson. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK

British police have found the missing Swedish girl Sofie Jansson in London, exactly a week after she was last seen, with authorities saying she is doing well. READ () »

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Sweden's opposition party have stepped up its efforts to secure the pensioner vote by pledging to lower taxes for the elderly and make higher earners pay more. READ () »

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend
Showan Shattak pictured in Malmö before his attack. Photo: Facebook

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend

The 25-year-old man, whose stabbing by neo-Nazis sparked mass demonstrations across Sweden, has made a strong recovery in hospital and took to social media to thank supporters for campaigning against fascism. READ () »

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot
Swedish artist Lars Vilks pictured in New York in 2012. Photo: Linus Sundahl-Djerf/TT

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot

American authorities have sentenced a 20-year-old accomplice of 'Jihad Jane' to five years in prison for an attempted terror plot to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, after getting involved with the murder plans when he was a teenager. READ () »

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour

PICTURES: A truck got wedged inside a tunnel in central Stockholm on Thursday, with authorities concerned the accident may have damaged cables in the tunnel's ceiling. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Advertisement:
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

749
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com