Ikea Recalls 29 Million Pieces Of Chests And Drawers After A Sixth Child Is Killed

Ikea recalls a number of chests and drawers, including the MALM, after the number of children who were killed when the furniture toppled over and fell on them reached six.

The Swedish furniture giant recalls a whopping 29 million pieces after complaints materialized of the Ikea drawers tipping dangerously unless they are anchored to the wall, posing a dangerous threat to children and adults alike.

Ikea recalls the furniture formally after Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Chairman Elliot Kaye, addressed a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington earlier today.

An Ikea MALM drawer was used in the demonstration to explain how it can endanger anyone shorter in height than the drawer by toppling over if it is not nailed to a wall. The Ikea furniture, as shown in the picture below, is, therefore, capable of hazardously entrapping a child.

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A dummy was used for a demonstration of the tip-over hazard at the press conference in Washington [Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP Images]

An announcement on the official Ikea website specifies the kinds of chests and drawers that Ikea recalls.

Drawers intended for children that are taller than 23.5 inches and those intended for adults that exceed the height of 29.5 inches are the ones that Ikea recalls, citing that they fail to meet the “performance requirements of the U.S. voluntary industry standard.”

The firm is also promising refunds in exchange for returns or a safer way for people to keep the Ikea drawers in their homes by offering a free wall-anchoring repair kit.

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CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye speaks on the hazards of the drawer [Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP Images]

Ikea recalls the drawers after repeated calls for changing the designs of the furniture that are known for falling over.

The first death of a child by getting trapped under an Ikea drawer took place in 1989, but since then, the numbers have escalated to six. The United States CPSC website provides the details of the deaths and injuries caused by the drawer in 2014.

“CPSC and IKEA received a report that in February 2014, a 2-year-old boy from West Chester, Pennsylvania died after a MALM 6-drawer chest (48 3/8 inches high) tipped over and fatally pinned him against his bed. CPSC and IKEA also received a report that in June 2014, a 23-month old child from Snohomish, Washington died after he became trapped beneath a 3-drawer (30 ¾ inches high) MALM chest that tipped over. Neither chest had been secured to the wall. IKEA and CPSC have also received 14 reports of tip-over incidents involving MALM chests, resulting in four injuries.”

The mother of Curren Collas, one of the children mentioned above who died while horrifically trapped under a set of Ikea drawers, has since been a vocal advocate for furniture safety in homes with small children.


The death of the two toddlers led Ikea to launch its repair program in 2015, as reported by CNN Money. The Ikea recalls were prompted by the reports of the death of a third child as a result of the drawers tipping over.

The recalls became necessary because it turned out that not many people were attaching the drawers to the wall like they were meant to or using the tip-over restraint provided in the kit that the drawers came in. Ikea has also been tweeting about safety measures to prevent injuries.

As pointed out by NBC News, Ikea recalls their furniture amidst the disconcerting statistic that every 24 minutes a child in the USA in sent to the emergency room after having been injured by a piece of furniture or a television falling over.

The collective number of dressers, drawers, and chests that Ikea recalls will likely run into millions in Canada and the U.S. alone.

[Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP Images]

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