On behalf of Paul J. Ganim P.C. posted in Products Liability on Wednesday, June 29, 2016.
If you have children, you know that once they start walking, there’s no keeping up with them. They love to explore. That includes opening drawers and climbing on top of furniture. Unfortunately, that can lead to serious injuries and death. On average, every two weeks a child is killed by a falling piece of furniture, a television or an appliance.
Even furniture intended for children’s bedrooms can be dangerous. Just this week, IKEA announced that it was recalling about 29 million of its “Malm” series chests and dressers after they were linked to the deaths of three children in less than three years.
The furniture giant’s USA president is telling customers to “take them out of the room” until or unless they properly anchor them to the wall. The company is providing free kits to anchor the furniture. The mother of a two-year-old boy who was crushed to death when an IKEA dresser fell over on him has sued the company.
Anchoring furniture in order to prevent injuries and deaths has been a focus of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Its “Anchor It!” public education campaign warns parents of the dangers of unsecured furniture, televisions and appliances, which can cause catastrophic injuries in seconds.
Besides properly securing furniture to the wall, the CPSC advises mounting your flat screen televisions to the wall instead of placing them on a table or other piece of furniture. If you still have one of the older CRT televisions in your home, anchor it to a TV stand or wall. Don’t place it on a surface not designed to hold a TV.
New furniture is often sold with anti-tip brackets. If you have young children in your house, you should secure the furniture as soon as you move it in or set it up, carefully following the directions.
Another piece of advice from the CPSC is to minimize the temptation for children to climb on tall furniture by not placing objects on top. Of course, toys are tempting, but a remote control can be fascinating to a toddler as well.
When a child is injured or killed in a tip-over accident, it may be wise to find out what your legal options are. While no legal action can bring back a child, it can help hold the manufacturer accountable and call attention to a potential danger and help save the lives of other kids.
Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission, “Tip-Over Information Center,“ accessed June 29, 2016