When my oldest daughter was a newborn we received quite a few gifts to celebrate her arrival. One of those gifts was an adorable Ikea SMILA lamp in the shape of a starfish. It was adorable, but there was a huge design flaw that I noticed almost immediately. The cord was meant to hang down the wall with the lamp itself hanging on the wall like a picture. If you placed the lamp anywhere near the crib then the cord would dangle precariously close to the baby and become a choking hazard. For something clearly designed for a kid’s room, I thought this was a huge design flaw.
Fast forward 10 years and Ikea has finally gotten around to recalling the SMILA lamps. This comes after 17-month old Daniel Madden, of Glasgow, Scotland became caught up in the cord and died this past October.
Unfortunately Daniel is not the only child to be put in danger from the product. A few years ago another toddler, this time an unnamed 15-month old, nearly died in a similar manner from the SMILA lamp. But it was Daniel’s death that finally prompted the furniture giant to recall the product, which has been on the market for over 15 years at this point.
What scares me is that for one thing, the designers of this product failed to see the potential for danger, especially considering that it’s meant for a child’s room. Also, it’s frightening that 23 million of these wall-mounted death traps have been sold worldwide. At least Ikea is taking this seriously (now). According to a spokesperson for the stores:
“IKEA urges all customers with a “SMILA” wall-mounted lamp – or any corded wall-mounted lamp – to check immediately that the lamp and cord are out of reach of children when in a cot or playpen and securely fastened to the wall. IKEA reminds customers that any corded product such as a window covering or blind can present a strangulation hazard.”
Customers are advised to NOT use this product any longer, if you own one, which I think is a no-brainer. You can contact Ikea to get a replacement product OR a repair kit here.