The title of this post isn’t click bait, my dirty laundry literally saved my daughter’s life. A couple of years ago my oldest daughter, Evelyn, had a MALM dresser fall over on her and if it wasn’t for my massive laundry pile, she would have been crushed. I am writing this post today because I am hopeful that everyone who has a MALM dresser in their home takes advantage of the recall issued by IKEA-either by making sure you have your dresser attached via a wall anchoring kit or returning it for a refund/store credit.
I personally was well aware of what could happen with furniture toppling over on children, around the same time that we were trying to figure out clothing storage solutions for Evelyn’s room, there were a ton of online articles regarding deaths of children due to furniture/TVs, including this Dallas Mom’s Blog article. My husband and I looked for an anchor for our MALM chest of drawers but was not able to locate one at any home repair store, surprisingly. We agreed that until we could make it back out to IKEA, we would put the piece of furniture in her closet. My thought process was that even if it were to fall, the bi-fold doors would block it from falling onto her. Beyond that I naively thought that since our child wasn’t a climber and she was old enough to understand our lectures of safety it would be ok. While I still didn’t feel great about our solution, it was fine enough. Until I realized how wrong I was.
My husband and I were in the living room when we heard a crash and Evelyn’s blood curdling screams for help. I ran back to her room faster than I have ever run before to find the exact scenario I had envisioned when we couldn’t find the wall anchors, the chest of drawers lying directly on top of her tiny body. The only thing that had saved her was my several feet high pile of laundry next to her head and chest-it had given just enough space between her and the ground that she wasn’t totally crushed.
I pushed the furniture back up and held onto her knowing how close we had come to losing her. She told me she had only opened the top two drawers, so it wasn’t that she had even attempted to climb, it was the weight of having two drawers open that caused it to topple forward. I have never been more thankful for my lack of domestic abilities than in that moment.
That day has never left me, and seeing the recall brings so many feelings (emotional and physical) back. I am now too paranoid to put any other furniture in the room-even if it was properly anchored. It was just too close of a call for me to feel ok about having it in their room, where my two daughters play without me near. My girls are my absolute world (and I know every parent shares that sentiment) so fine enough can’t be accepted anymore when it comes to safety. Fine enough almost killed my baby.
I am happy and appreciative to report that the recall experience was incredibly easy. Within three days of contacting IKEA they sent someone out to pick up the dresser. We still haven’t gotten our refund yet (it is going to be mailed to us) but I honestly couldn’t use the dresser anymore so I’m just thankful it is out of my home. Things happen, accidents happen, the unknown happens. Please don’t think that it can’t happen to you because I learned just how easily it CAN happen, we just got lucky.