Curren Collas with his mother Jaquelyn. Photo by the Collas family/ABC News.
This week the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) issued a warning on IKEA dressers, informing parents that they pose a tipping danger to children. For little Curren Collas, however, the news comes too late. Curren died last year at age 2 after being pinned under an IKEA dresser at his home in West Chester, PA. Another child, a 23-month-old, also died last year after he was trapped underneath an IKEA dresser in the state of Washington.
The late Curren Collas' mother, Jaquelyn Collas, is now seeking to hold IKEA accountable for her irretrievable loss. Jaquelyn is stricken by what happened to her son, but she's working to keep other children out of harm's way - she's filed legal action and is fully supportive of the CPSC's statement on IKEA furniture. The simple truth has been known for a long time - IKEA dressers posed a tipping hazard, putting children at risk. The company had received at least 14 reports of its MALM-model dressers tipping over since the line had been launched in 2002. So the question remains: why, in light of report after report over several years, did IKEA do nothing to ensure the safety of children around its defective products? There can be no excuses for such a system-wide failure.
IKEA has finally announced that it will provide free wall-anchoring safety kits for its MALM line of dressers, of which there are an estimated 7 million around the nation. We're glad to see that IKEA is taking a step in the right direction, but how does one ever truly compensate the loss of love and support resulting from negligent safety procedures? Jaquelyn Collas won't see her son in this life again, and no amount of money can return him to his mother's arms. But IKEA can be taught a lesson that will serve as an example to all corporations that the well-being of children must be a higher priority than pure profits.
Furniture manufacturers must follow necessary safety rules to prevent foreseeable harm. When they fail in their responsibilities, it's our children who end up paying the ultimate price. If you're a parent, make sure that all your dressers and similar furniture are properly anchored to the walls. It only takes a few minutes of home repair work to prevent tragedy from striking in your family.