Ikea safety worries after two children killed

Ikea safety worries after two children killed
An Ikea store in New York. Photo: Carl Lennihan/TT
The safety of Swedish furniture giant Ikea’s drawers and wardrobes have been called into question after two children in the US died when the products fell on them.

The Swedish company has said it will offer a free wall-anchoring kit for chests and dressers to all US consumers after the deaths, according to US authorities.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission said the anchors are for some Malm model chests with three and four drawers as well as some other chests and dressers. Some 27 million chests are covered by the programme.

“The chests and dressers can pose a tip-over hazard if not securely anchored to the wall,” the CPSC said.

The agency said that Ikea had received reports of two children, both around two years old, who died after Malm chests tipped over onto them in 2014. Neither chest had been anchored to a wall.

In total, Ikea and the CPSC have received 14 reports of tip-overs of Malm chests that resulted in four injuries. The agency said that since 1989 Ikea has been aware of three additional reports of deaths from tip-overs of other models of its chests and dressers.

Consumers should not use Ikea children's chests and dressers taller than 23.5 inches (60 centimeters) and adult ones higher than 29.5 inches (75 centimetres) unless they are properly secured to a wall, the agency said.

Ikea was not immediately available for comment on Thursday and it was unclear whether the company was planning to offer free wall kits in other markets.

In May the company recalled one of its world famous safety gates after reports that several children had been injured falling down stairs.

Ikea said that three reports of recent incidents of fall injuries had prompted the furniture manufacturer to recall two models of its pressure mounted safety gate Patrull.

The company said that the accidents had happened when friction between the wall and the gate had been insufficient to hold the gate in position.