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Ikea safety alert in US after two children killed by MALM drawers

Ikea trolleys Image copyright Getty Images

A US safety watchdog has raised concerns about Ikea chests of drawers after two boys were killed in the US last year when dressers fell on them.

Ikea North America is offering free wall-mounting kits for 27 million dressers, telling owners they must be fixed to walls.

The kits are for its MALM three and four-drawer chests and two styles of six drawer chests, amongst others.

Ikea said it had received 14 reports of accidents resulting in four injuries.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said: "The chests and dressers can pose a tipover hazard if not securely anchored to the wall."

A two-year-old boy from West Chester, Pennsylvania, died in February 2014 when a six-drawer MALM chest fell on him and pinned him to a bed, the CPSC said in a statement.

Image copyright Ikea

In another incident, a 23-month-old child from Snohomish, Washington, was killed in June 2014 when a three-drawer MALM chest tipped over and trapped him.

According to the CPSC, a child dies every two weeks and a child is injured every 24 minutes in the US from furniture or TVs tipping over.

Ikea said it also knew of three other reports of deaths since 1989 after other models of its chest of drawers tipped over, the agency added.

The CPSC, said consumers should not use Ikea children's chests and dressers taller than 23.5 inches (60 centimetres) and adult ones higher than 29.5 inches (75 centimetres) unless they are properly secured to a wall, the agency said.

The MALM chest range went on sale in 2002 and cost between $80 and $200. Ikea maintains its products are safe if assembled according to the instructions provided.

Further information from Ikea can be found here.

Ikea UK and Ireland said in a statement it was not recalling the MALM chest of drawers and added that in Europe it already provided wall mounts and instructions for all units.

However, it encouraged any customers that had concerns about their furniture to contact its customer services team to request "a free [wall] restraint kit if the original one was disposed of".

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