• 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

"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)

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
Stockholm 'Russian sub' alert
Search for foreign vessel continues off Stockholm
Minehunter HMS Koster takes part in the search in the Stockholm archipelago on Sunday. Photo: Marko Säävälä/TT

Search for foreign vessel continues off Stockholm

Sweden's armed forces were continuing to search for the cause of apparent "foreign underwater activity" in the Stockholm Archipelago on Monday. But the military denied news agency reports that they had imposed an exclusion zone. READ  

Ebola crisis
Sweden hit by two Ebola false alarms in two days
The Uppsala University Hospital. Photo: TT

Sweden hit by two Ebola false alarms in two days

UPDATED: A patient has been cleared of any Ebola suspicions at the Uppsala University Hospital. It marks the second suspected case in Sweden in two days. READ  

Perspective: ‘Russian sub’ alert
Why a foreign vessel lurks in Swedish waters
The HMS Stockholm patrols Jungfrufjärden in the Stockholm archipelago on Monday morning. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Why a foreign vessel lurks in Swedish waters

With Sweden engaged in its biggest domestic military operation since the Cold War, The Local spoke to Johan Wiktorin, a fellow at the Swedish Royal Academy of War Sciences, to get insight into what’s going on in the Stockholm archipelago. READ  

My Swedish Career
US woman starts up Swedish toy store online
Leigh Neil and a llama hand puppet. Photo: Private

US woman starts up Swedish toy store online

For this week's My Swedish Career we meet Leigh Neil, who one day came to realize that there was a gap in the Swedish market for children's toys and decided to do something about it. READ  

Stockholm 'Russian sub' alert
No truth to Russia's submarine claim: Dutch
A CB90-class fast assault craft at Kullbäling, a small island in Stockholm's archipelago. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

No truth to Russia's submarine claim: Dutch

The Netherlands on Monday denied a Russian claim that a mystery vessel the Swedish military has been looking for could be Dutch. READ  

Lufthansa Strike
Over 20 Swedish flights hit by Lufthansa strike
Grounded Lufthansa planes. Photo: TT

Over 20 Swedish flights hit by Lufthansa strike

A strike by pilots at German airline Lufthansa will affect over 20 flights in and out of Sweden over the next two days. READ  

National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Photo: Shutterstock

Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars

A dentist in western Sweden is offering free dental care to his town's Roma begging population. READ  

Business & Money
Electrolux profit soars after cost-cutting efforts
Photo: TT

Electrolux profit soars after cost-cutting efforts

Swedish electrical appliance maker Electrolux reported its third-quarter net profit soared 42 percent to 933 million kronor ($130 million) thanks to a cost-cutting programme started at the end of last year. READ  

National
School photographer fired for homophobic slur
Photo credit: Shutterstock

School photographer fired for homophobic slur

A photographer at a high school in southern Sweden was sacked after he called one of the students a "fag" during a shoot. READ  

Ebola crisis
Patient in isolation after airport Ebola alert

Patient in isolation after airport Ebola alert

A male passenger who landed at Stockholm's Arlanda airport has been transferred to an isolation unit amid fears he may be suffering from the Ebola virus. But a specialist was keen to play down concerns. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
National
Sweden deploys troops over underwater threat
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Blog updates

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 

17 October

Editor’s Blog, Oct 17th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Here’s the whole week of news in just 60 seconds. The most-read story was about a..." READ »

 
 
 
National
A Touch of Scandinavia: Reindeer in the kitchen
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Lifestyle
Sweden's The Bridge to become 'more Danish'
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Tech
First womb transplant baby in world born in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 5th
National
What's on in Sweden
National
Sweden rethinks Afghan translators' protection
Society
Interview with Geena Davis: 'I want to be in a Swedish movie'
Gallery
Stefan Löfven through the years
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

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 Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

987
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
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN