Falling furniture, impulsive kids

See InsideEdition.com IKEA drawers story.

by Kathy Kuhl     To keep a little one safe can be a big job, even when they don’t climb furniture. Many of you are doing this while homeschooling a child with challenges.

Some of us have older kids that still act like preschoolers, so we are still on alert. Impulsive children try things we never thought to prohibit. (When our little one tried to use the shower curtain rod as a trapeze, we were very glad nothing was broken–except the rod holders.)

“It’s simply too dangerous”

But I had no idea how easily a dresser, chest, or television atop them could hurt or kill a child until I saw this frightening demonstration from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), courtesy WILX.com:

“It’s simply too dangerous… to have this recalled furniture in your home, especially if you have a young child,” said CPSC chairman Elliot Kaye at the National Press Club last week.

Where we adults see a common piece of furniture, toddlers and preschoolers may see something to climb. Where I may see drawer handles or drawers left a bit open, the little one may see footholds on the way to a new perch, a prized toy, or any object we thought we were putting out of reach.

If you have MALM dressers from IKEA

IKEA offers several options:

  • They will give you free anchoring kits to secure your dresser or chest to a wall. You may reorder another kits for the life of the furniture.
  • They will send technicians out to install the anchoring kit for you. (Once per item, so if you move, you have to install the next anchoring kit yourself.)
  • You can return MALM dressers built between January 2002 and June 2016 for a refund, or for older units, a partial refund.
  • To save you taking the furniture to the store, they will send someone to pick up the MALM dresser or chest you want to return at no charge.

It’s not just IKEA Furniture

Nbcnews.com reported that IKEA’s announcement came amid these horrible facts:

… every 24 minutes, a child is sent to the emergency room by a falling piece of furniture or a television, according the federal government’s watchdog agency, the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Every two weeks, a child dies.

If 3 children have died from IKEA’s Malm furniture in two years, that means 49 children have died from other brands.

You probably already know you should anchor furniture to a wall if it has any chance of tipping onto a child. But some of us get busy…. and it stays on our to-do list.

Science to explain to your older children

You may also know that televisions and other heavy objects can fall off drawers or bookcases and kill children, as shown in this CPSC video released last year.

Physics has consequences! Heavy objects like televisions atop furniture can make the center of gravity for that piece of furniture so high that a little added weight on the front can tip it over.

I also appreciated this InsideEdition video, with more from the CPSC and footage of a child, under careful supervision, demonstrating climbing a chest, as his mother catches the chest.

I hesitate to show these videos to children. Seeing the rag doll mannequins crushed was bad enough for this adult. 

See InsideEdition.com IKEA drawers story.
InsideEdition.com shows how easily a toddler can climb a chest. The mother, at left was standing by for this demonstration to stop the falling dresser.

I know not every bookcase or chest is dangerous. But after watching this video, I’ve got to check the chests and bookcases in my home before small kids come over.

What do you do to keep your children from climbing where they should not? Please answer in the comments section below.

[Photo credit: http://www.insideedition.com/headlines/15988-ikea-issues-second-safety-warning-after-third-toddler-is-killed-by-falling-furniture ]

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