Swedish furniture maker IKEA is recalling 29 million dressers because they're unsafe unless they're anchored to a wall, the company says.
The recall involves all six models of IKEA's MALM dressers. The number of drawers ranges from three to six. The furniture was sold from 2002 through this month. IKEA is offering customers a refund or a free wall-anchoring kit.
It was a MALM dresser that tipped over onto 22-month-old Ted McGee of Apple Valley on Valentine's Day.
By then IKEA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPS) had started offering free wall anchors because there had already been two child deaths caused by dressers tipping over.
Since Ted McGee's death in February, consumer groups stepped up their calls for IKEA to stop selling the dressers.
With Tuesday's announcement that has now happened, though an official with the Consumer Federation of America says it should have occurred sooner, WCCO reports.
IKEA: It's an industry-wide issue
The problem of furniture tipping over onto children is not unique to IKEA dressers. The New York Times says CSPS numbers show that in an average year 38,000 people visit emergency rooms because of tip-over accidents, with a majority of those people younger than five.
IKEA President Lars Petersson tells Co.Design the biggest recall in the company's history is meant to prevent more deaths, but the company also wants to raise awareness of how important it is to secure any home furniture that can tip over.
Petersson tells the website "A chest of drawers can be an irresistible temptation for children to use as a ladder," and if it's not properly secured the results can be tragic.
More details about the IKEA recall are available from the CSPS.