Is your dresser dangerously top-heavy?

What would happen if a child climbed your dresser? What if they pulled out the drawers and used them as steps? Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common scenario.

The problem is that many dressers are top-heavy — especially when the drawers are partly pulled out. And top-heavy furniture can fall on children. Tragically, the result is often a serious injury or even suffocation.

About once every 20 minutes, someone is injured when a piece of furniture, a television, or another appliance falls on them. About every two weeks, a child dies as a result of this cause, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Since 2000, at least 212 people have been killed by tipping dressers — mostly children six and younger.

Dressers may not be as tall as shelves. They may seem low enough. But the hazard is there, and it is very real.

Don’t let your child be injured by a fallen dresser. Pay attention when they are recalled. Make sure they do not tip, even if the drawers are used as steps. Make sure they cannot fall. In many cases, this requires securing them to the wall.

In the past month or so, there have been at least three major recalls of top-heavy dressers.

Ikea Kullen dresser: three drawer version

Ikea recalled its three-drawer Kullen dresser. There has been an ongoing issue with dressers from Ikea, but this is the first one to be recalled since August, when the furniture industry updated its internal, voluntary standards for stability. This dresser did not meet the new standard.

Nearly a million Kullen dressers were sold in the U.S. and Canada, and there have been six reported tip-overs. The recall only involves the 28-3/8″ tall three-drawer dresser, which weighs about 45 pounds. It does not involve the five-drawer version of the dresser.

Consumers with three-drawer Kullen dressers from Ikea should immediately move them to a room kids can’t access and then contact Ikea for a full refund. Ikea will pick up the dresser free of charge or you can return it an Ikea store.

In the alternative, Ikea will provide you with a tip-over restraint device and free in-home installation. However, this does not ensure that the dresser would never be used without a wall anchor, so we recommend returning the dresser.

Homestar Finch dresser: three-drawer version

The manufacturer Homestar is recalling about 33,300 Finch-branded dressers because of a tip-over risk that could lead to injury or death. Again, consumers should stop using the dresser and move it to a location where kids can’t access it.

These products were sold online — alone or as part of a matching bedroom collection — at retailers including Walmart, Overstock, Hayneedle and Amazon between January 2016 and May 2019. The dressers cost about $90.

Homestar will not refund your money, but will offer you a free tip-over restraint kit and free installation. Consumer advocates, including Consumer Reports, has criticized the company for refusing to take returns of the dressers, which would keep them away from vulnerable children altogether.

Joybird: Blythe dresser sold about 100 units of its Blythe dresser, which measures about 66″ side, 37.5″ high and 18″ deep. On the back of the dresser you should find a sticker that says, “Stitch Industries, Inc.” with the month and year of manufacture, along with the phrase “TSCA Title VI Compliant.” The dressers were sold between October 2017 and July 2019 for about $1,700.

Stop using the dresser immediately and move it to a location where children can’t access it. Joybird is offering to pick up the dresser for free and give a full refund, which is the most effective way to get the dangerous dressers away from kids who could play on it. However, the company will also provide a free repair or restraint kit, installed free of charge, along with a $50 gift card.

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