Stomp contributor Chanel, who is the aunt of the two-year-old girl, said she was with her brother and her sister-in-law when they witnessed the incident at around 3.45pm.
Chanel told Stomp: “Adults are not allowed to accompany children into the Smaland play area so we watched from the window.
“My niece had gone in for only five minutes when I saw a boy pinning her into the ball pit.”
Toddler’s face and body “buried”
The Stomp contributor described her niece’s alleged bullying ordeal: “At first, I saw that she was standing up.
“Suddenly, the boy was on her back. My niece had her whole body and head buried, I couldn’t see her at all. She was screaming and crying for help.
“I knocked on the glass and the boy gave a smile.”
According to Chanel, she “tried to look for Ikea staff but no one was there.”
She and the girl’s parents could not enter the play area as it was locked, she said, adding: “I raised my voice for help and finally the staff appeared and pulled my niece out.
“By then, she was crying badly.”
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Family let the matter rest
Chanel, who posted the alleged bullying incident on Ikea’s Facebook page on the same day, said that the boy was accompanied by two adults.
In her post, she also described what happened after the alleged bullying, with the girl’s family eventually deciding to “let the matter rest”.
Chanel told Stomp that a manager from Ikea contacted her the following day regarding the alleged bullying incident.
In response to a Stomp query, an Ikea spokesman said: “We are aware that this incident took place at our Ikea Tampines store on Thursday and we are sorry about the less than pleasant experience.
“The safety of our customers are of utmost importance, especially with children that play at our Smaland play area.
“In the event where we have observed improper children’s behaviour in Smaland, our immediate course of action is to separate the children, and call their respective parents/guardian, to ensure that all parties are aware of the incident and take the corrective measures.”
Ikea said that these steps were followed in this case and that it has spoken to all parties involved.
It added: “We will continue to monitor this situation closely.
“We are investigating and will also review with the co-workers concerned.”
A version of this article first appeared in Stomp.