PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Parents on a mission came together outside of IKEA’s U.S. headquarters in Conshohocken with a goal of improving safety for children. Since 2016, IKEA has recalled more than 17 million of its chests and dressers because they can topple over and potentially kill young children.
But one advocacy group says the recall isn’t effective and want to speak directly with IKEA’s U.S. president.
“I checked on him at 3:30 in the morning and he was safely in bed,” Crystal Ellis said. “Entrapped in his three drawer IKEA MALM dresser. We had to say goodbye on Father’s Day, donating his organs.”
“I heard Connor wake up,” Meagan Delong said. “I found the dresser tipped over. The next night, I withdrew life support.”
Similar memories are forever etched in the minds of mothers thousands of miles and two years apart after their children’s deaths in 2015 and 2017.
Ellis and Delong created the Parents Against Tip-Overs organization or PAT. They’re in the Philadelphia area and had planned to meet with IKEA’s U.S. President Javier Quiñones after Ellis had written to him asking to discuss safety changes to their products.
Quiñones responded, “We’d be happy to meet with you face-to-face,” Ellis said.
When asked if she was surprised upon hearing that, Ellis said, “I was absolutely surprised, I thought OK.”
But now gathered in Conshohocken, where IKEA has its U.S. headquarters, members from PAT received the news the meeting was canceled.
“They were unable to meet with us because there was open litigation,” Delong said.
“It’s kind of a slap in the face,” Ellis said.
Even so, the group is still publishing an open letter to Quiñones with suggestions to make their dresser recall more effective in the hopes of saving more lives.
“Getting unsafe furniture out of homes is vital,” Delong said.
This is not just an IKEA problem, it’s an industry-wide problem,” Ellis said.
In a statement to CBS3, IKEA said: “IKEA welcomes the opportunity to meet with Parents Against Tip-Overs. However, the date that was suggested was not possible because of ongoing litigation. Mr. Quiñones looks forward to meeting with the group once litigation has been resolved to talk about how, together, we can continue to address this important issue that impacts the entire home furnishings industry.”