One million dressers sold at Kmart stores for five years are being recalled because they can tip over and seriously injure or even kill young children. According to a CBS Sacramento news report, the four-drawer Belmont dressers were sold in four colors – white, black, light pine and brown oak. The model numbers can be found on the instruction manual that came with the dresser.
The recalled dressers were manufactured by Ridgewood Industries and sold exclusively at Kmart from April 2013 to November 2018 for about $40. Customers who own these dressers and don’t have it properly anchored to a wall should immediately stop using them and/or put them at a location in the home where children cannot access them. Ridgewood is providing customers with a free anchoring kit, including a wall anchor strap, and will allow those affected to request a one-time, free, in-home installation of the wall anchor strap.
Death by Tip-Overs
According to Consumer Reports, every 17 minutes, a piece of furniture, TV or appliance tipping over causes an injury in the United States. A total of 195 deaths caused by tip-overs were reported between 2000 and 2016. Children are often the most affected. A child is killed by a falling piece of furniture in the United States every two weeks. In 2016, 2,800 incidents of injuries to children were reported, a 33 percent increase from 2015. In 2016, IKEA launched a voluntary recall of 29 million dressers and chests when six children were killed by pieces falling on top of them.
What Steps Can Parents Take?
Here are some of the steps that parents and caregivers can take in order to protect children from such horrific accidents:
- Secure cabinet doors and drawers with childproof bumpers that prevent children from opening them.
- Secure heavy furniture to walls with L-brackets to prevent them from tipping. These devices are inexpensive, but they could make the difference between life and death.
- Don’t put toys and other objects on high shelves, which might tempt a child to attempt to climb up and retrieve them.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dangerous or defective product, please remember that you have legal rights. Product manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that they put items on the market that are safe for consumers. An experienced product defect attorney can help provide you with more information regarding pursuing your rights.