Ikea has issued a recall for at least 29 million chests and dressers that can easily tip over onto children, injuring or killing them, NBC News confirmed.
The furniture giant said Monday that after the three deaths of three children it is no longer selling its “Malm” series products because they “could be a danger,” Ikea USA president Lars Peterson told NBC News.
“Please take them out of the room,” Peterson said, adding that customers are eligible for a free repair kit to anchor the furniture to a wall. Refunds will also be offered.
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The announcement comes after an anchor campaign last year — and amid staggering statistics: every 24 minutes, a child is sent to the emergency room by a falling piece of furniture or a television, according the federal government’s watchdog agency, the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Every two weeks, a child dies.
“Children see something they’re trying to get,” commission president, Elliot Kaye, explained to TODAY last year. “They start to climb. The unit falls over.”
Among those to be killed by an Ikea Malm dresser was two-year-old Curren Collas. Two years ago, the boy's mother, Jackie Collas, went to his room to get him dressed. There, she found the dresser on the ground.
"I didn't see him anywhere, so I went over and kind of pulled everything apart," she said. "I saw the little top of his head trapped between the dresser" and the bed.
The dresser, Collas said, was not anchored to the wall.
"I never heard of that before," she said, adding that one of her "main goals right now is to just spread the word about anchoring anything that could fall."
In a statement to NBC News, Ikea said it issued the recall despite the anchor campaign, which resulted in the company sending out 300,000 kits.
"It is clear that there are still unsecured products in customers’ homes," the statement says. "We believe that taking further action is the right thing to do."
Alan Feldman, an attorney who represents the families of all three toddlers, said in a statement: “We applaud the CPSC for taking a tough stand in support of consumer product safety by demanding that IKEA take concrete action to get these defective dressers off the market, or at least to make sure that whenever possible, the dressers are secured to a wall. It should not have taken repeated injuries and deaths over many years before IKEA finally responded to the potential hazard it placed in millions of American homes."
Tom Costello is an NBC News correspondent based in Washington, D.C.
Tim Stelloh is a reporter for NBC News, based in California.