A glowing heart, seashell or star attracts the interest of a 16-month-old child. The cord attached to the magical-looking lamp is within reach of small, grasping hands. The baby dies strangled by the cord attached to the pretty thing.
This nightmare sparked the recall of the SMILA lamp series marketed by Swedish home décor giant IKEA. The lamps were manufactured in Lithuania, the United States and China, and approximately 23 million of them were sold worldwide. Roughly 4 million of the lamps, in shapes such as a star, seashell, flower, heart and more, were sold in the United States and Canada.
Defectively designed products pose a serious safety threat to all consumers. Too often, a defect is not apparent until tragedy or near-tragedy occurs. In addition to the death of the 16-month-old toddler, another 15-month-old was almost strangled after being caught in the lamp cord. Both incidents, in which the children pulled the cord into their cribs, occurred in Europe.
Consumers who purchased a SMILA lamp should remove the product and contact IKEA customer service for a repair kit with instructions to fasten the cord to the wall. For any lamp used around children, consider the following tips:
Always secure a lamp cord to the wall or furniture. Do not assume running a cord under carpet is safe.
Ideally, all lamps and cords should be out of the reach of children.
Lamps should be placed a minimum of 18 to 20 inches from any flammable material.
Products for children are designed to be attractive, so it is even more important that they are safe.