Toddler Deaths Prompt Million Dollar Baby to Recall Dressers

February 20, 2013

dresser.jpgYoung children love to climb. They can climb onto anything, including tables, bookcases, chest of drawers, TV stands, and open oven doors. They can climb quickly, when you turn your back, when you run to the bathroom, when you put them in their room for a nap.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that at least one child dies every 2 weeks as a result of suffocating while trapped under a piece of furniture that has turned over on to them. In addition, CPSC staff estimates that more than 22,000 children 8 years old and younger were treated for injuries at local hospital emergency rooms for injuries resulting from tip-over incidents between 2008 to 2010.These are tragic and unnecessary deaths. Parents understandably feel responsible and guilty after something like this happens. But how is a parent supposed to know about this danger?

The reality is that most parents do not know about the potential danger posed by these innocuous pieces of furniture, but the manufacturers of these products know only too well about the lurking dangers. Children have been dying and parents have been suing these manufacturers for this very problem for over a decade.To sell these products without the necessary safety equipment to make them safe for children is incredibly callous and unconscionable because these manufacturers know that if it is not "if" these tragedies are going to happen, but "when" and "how often."

This week, Bexco Enterprises Inc., dba Million Dollar Baby of Montebello, Calif. is announcing a voluntary recall of 18,000 children's four-drawer dressers. The CPSC and Million Dollar Baby have received two reports of deaths associated with these dressers. One child's parents filed a lawsuit in California as a result of their child's death. That case recently settled, and it is suspected that the voluntary recall is one of the terms of the settlement.

This dresser recall involves "Emily" style four-drawer dressers with model numbers M4712, M4722, M4732 and M4742 and similar "Ryan" dressers with the model M4733. The recalled dresser measures 33-inches high by 20-inches deep by 40-inches wide and is a part of the DaVinci children's bedroom furniture collection.

The recalled dressers were sold at JCPenney and independent juvenile specialty stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com, BabiesRUs.com, BabyUniverse.com and other online retailers from January 2006 through June 2010 for around $300.

While the Million Dollar Baby dressers met voluntary safety standards when first produced, a May 2009 voluntary industry standard, and subsequent revisions published in October 2009 and November 2009, required that tip-over restraints be sold with the dressers. The restraints attach to the wall with screws, framing or other support to help prevent dresser tip-over entrapment hazards for small kids. Million Dollar Baby is offering free retrofit kits with tip-over restraints to consumers who have older dressers.

Consumers can contact Million Dollar Baby to receive a free retrofit kit that contains a wall anchor strap, which attaches to the dresser and wall to help prevent the dresser from tipping. The kits can be ordered by visiting the firm's website at www.themdbfamily.com/safety2 and click on Safety HQ or call toll-free at (888) 673-6652 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday.