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Following the death of a third child in the last two years from tipping over an IKEA chest of drawers, the furniture retailer has repeated safety warnings to customers about anchoring the furniture.
A 22-month-old Minnesota boy, Ted McGee, died in February when he tipped one of IKEA's popular Malm dressers on top of him in his room while his parents thought he was napping, the family's lawyers told The Philadelphia Inquirer. The incident came seven months after IKEA urged anyone owning certain dressers to anchor them to the wall to avoid injury.
The company offered to send customers free anchoring kits and has distributed more than 300,000 through April 3 since its initial announcement in July of 2015, according to IKEA. The company expressed condolences to McGee's family in a statement to TODAY.com while reiterating safety guidelines for the product, which are part of its Secure It! campaign.
"At IKEA, we believe children are the most important people in the world and the safety of our products is our highest priority,'' the statement reads. "Upon being informed of this incident, IKEA immediately reported it to the authorities and an investigation is taking place. IKEA has been advised that the product was not attached to the wall, which is an integral part of the products’ assembly instructions."
"We wish to emphasize that the best way to prevent tip-over of chests of drawers is to attach products to the wall with the included restraints and hardware per the assembly instructions. IKEA has included restraints with our chest of drawers for decades, and wall attachment is an integral part of the assembly instructions.”
The Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is also investigating McGee's death, says that the dressers and drawers pose a serious risk of injury and has issued guidelines to help ensure safety for children.
"If you cannot anchor this, do not use it,'' Elliot Kaye, chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, told TODAY in July.
One child is injured from furniture toppling over every 24 minutes, and a child dies every two weeks from falling furniture or televisions, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In 2014, a 2-year-old Pennsylvania boy and a 23-month-old boy from Washington state were both fatally pinned under IKEA dressers after tipping them over.
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