A furniture warning and recall from IKEA has prompted many people to take steps to make their dressers safer. Dressers, and other large pieces of furniture pose a serious danger to young children. Children may climb on the furniture, causing it to fall onto them. IKEA furniture has injured or killed some children. Although any furniture is capable of falling, IKEA has taken steps to make their furniture less hazardous. As recently as this week, parents have reported toppling furniture that has fallen onto toddlers.
What Causes Furniture to Fall?
Dressers and similar pieces of furniture are naturally top heavy. While the drawers are closed there is generally no danger. However, when the drawers are open, it can cause the dresser to have more weight in the front, causing it to fall over. Young children have been found to open drawers in order to climb on the dressers. When a child opens a drawer and puts his weight on it, the dresser is unable to remain steady, and can topple forward, directly onto the child.
Injuries Caused by Falling Furniture
As many as 25,000 incidents of falling furniture injuries are reported every year. IKEA recalled their dressers after six children were killed in separate falling furniture incidents. Their recall affected 29 million chests or dressers. Injuries caused by falling furniture can be serious. Children may suffer bruises, broken bones, and lacerations. They may also experience head trauma. Children can be easily crushed from the weight of the dresser as it slams into them. This can also cause internal injuries and death.
Prevention of Furniture Accidents
Any furniture has the potential to fall onto a child, especially if he or she climbs on open drawers. Parents are advised to prevent furniture from falling by securing it to the wall. A simple anchor kit can be used to secure the dresser to the wall. The anchor holds the unit upright, even if the drawers are pulled out. Parents should check all of the furniture in their home and secure it properly.
Other types of furniture can also cause injuries. For example, children can be harmed when a television falls onto them. Television sets are often low to the ground, and may not be sturdy. Again, securing the unit to the wall will help to keep it from moving if anyone pulls on it. Precautions should be taken as part of childproofing any home to make it safe for young children.
Legal Action May be Necessary
In cases where a child was seriously injured or died due to falling furniture, legal action may be necessary. If the injuries were caused by the negligence of the furniture manufacturer or retailer, a claim may be filed. The parents of the child may file a lawsuit to seek damages which may include medical costs, money for pain and suffering, and other items.