Ted McGee of Apple Valley died in February when an IKEA dresser fell on him. He was almost two years old.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - The Apple Valley parents of a young boy, who died when an IKEA dresser fell over, are speaking out to spread awareness about the safety issue.
In February, Ted McGee, who was nearly two years old, died when a IKEA Malm dresser tipped over.
Janet McGee, his mother, says they had just gotten home from church and Ted was down for a nap. She said she was checking up on him every 15 to 20 minutes.
"When I went in to check on him the last time, I opened the door quietly and at that angle I saw his bed was empty and at that angle, I thought I'd open it further and see him playing on the other side of the door and hiding and peer up and giggle," she said.
But instead, a very different scene emerged.
"I immediately ran over and hoisted it up and started digging through the drawers that had all fallen out and screamed someone call 9-1-1," said Janet McGee. "And at the bottom of the drawers was our Ted laying pretty quiet and still."
He would become the third child death caused by a Malm dresser tip-over.
"Parents need to get these dressers out of their homes because we couldn't sleep at night if this happened to another family," said Jeremy McGee, Ted's father.
Senator Amy Klobuchar pushed the Consumer Product Safety Commission and IKEA to prevent future tragedies.
"I'm sure [the McGee's] had their moments--as any parent would-- of 'should I know about this?' and it was too hard to know about because it wasn't a real recall," said Klobuchar.
It wasn't until June that the CPSC and IKEA recalled the Malm dressers. The company has also stopped selling them until safety improvements are made.
Klobuchar and other legislators introduced a new bill to protect children from tipping furniture called Stop Tip-over of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act.
The bill would call for the CPSC to adopt a stronger, mandatory stability standards for storage units, including chests, bureaus, and dressers, which are a major category of furniture at risk for tipping over.