GERMANY - MAY 14: Chests of drawers in an IKEA market. (Photo by Ulrich Baumgarten via Getty Images)
Photo: Ulrich Baumgarten
Photo: Ulrich Baumgarten

Ikea issues warning after third child killed by toppling dresser

Ikea has issued another safety warning after another toddler was crushed to death by a chest of drawers.

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Theodore "Ted" McGee, 22 months old, was the third child to die in the U.S. after furniture from the popular Malm range of dressers and wardrobes toppled on top of the children.

On February 14, McGee's mother, Janet McGee, said she laid her son down for a nap in their Apple Valley, Minnesota, home, where she went to check on him every 20 minutes to make sure he was still asleep.

When she saw that he was out of his bed, she assumed that he was hiding. After searching, she found him under the chest of six drawers, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

"They didn't hear the dresser fall," attorney Alan Feldman said. "They didn't hear Ted scream."

Scott Wolfson, a spokesman for the U.S. Product Safety Commission, called the incident a "tragic tip-over fatality." The commission is reviewing the case.

"We at Ikea offer our deepest condolences to the McGee family," the Swedish company said in a statement. "We believe children are the most important people in the world, and the safety of our products is our highest priority."

McGee's death came one year after a 2-year-old Pennsylvania boy died when a Malm chest fell on him and pinned him to a bed. Three months later, a 23-month-old child from Washington was killed when a three-drawer Malm chest tipped over. 

After the two deaths, Ikea US issued a warning to families, emphasizing the risk of furniture falling forward if not properly stabilized. The company also began offering a free wall-anchoring service for customers to avoid tipping accidents.

Ikea said the furniture was not properly fixed to the wall in each of the cases in which a child died and has issued another safety warning to parents.

"Upon being informed of this incident, Ikea US immediately reported it to the authorities and an investigation is taking place," the company said. "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 chests of drawers for decades, and wall attachment is an integral part of the assembly instructions."

Concerned customers can contact Ikea to request a free restraint kit.

Read more here.

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