UNESCO proclaimed 1979 as the International Year of the Child, and in the same year IKEA launched a new child safety programme under the name PATRULL. It was a series of products that would make life at home safer for children. PATRULL was about preventing everything from scratches and bruises, to more serious accidents.
One important product in the child-safety range was the SORK children’s stool with anti-slip, which was often used in bathrooms or kitchens. The first version, in 1979, was a plastic stool with a ribbed rubber mat and rubber feet. In 1988, SORK was replaced by HARE. These stools had rubber details that were glued on to prevent slipping.
In the 1990s, a better stool was developed by designers Knut Hagberg and Marianne Hagberg, alongside experts in plastics at IKEA. This also allowed a freer, softer design. For instance, the synthetic rubber anti-slip features were cast in the same single stage of production. The updated stool entered the IKEA range in March 1998 and was named PATRULL. It was stabler and more durable than the previous stools, and the integrated anti-slip dots and feet prevented the stool from moving on the floor, and the child from slipping.
The PATRULL stool was awarded Excellent Swedish Design in 1998, and premiered in the 2000 IKEA catalogue. It is still sold in 2021, but under the name FÖRSIKTIG.
The PATRULL child safety series remains at IKEA and includes window catches, bathtub mats, plug socket covers, corner bumpers, non-slip mats and other solutions to make all areas of the home safer.