"Please take them out of the room." That was the stark statement Monday by Ikea USA President Lars Petersson to NBC News regarding 29 million of its dressers and chests, now the subject of a massive recall as Petersson admits they "could be a danger." The Consumer Product Safety Commission tells ABC News that six children under the age of 4 have been killed since 1989 by falling Ikea chests and dressers (three from units in its Malm line, three by other styles), including one toddler death in February, and at least 36 kids have been injured by the furniture, which is said to be "front-heavy" and with a tendency to tip if not anchored to the wall. A full refund is being offered to customers who bought affected units between 2002 and 2016; partial store credit will be available to those who bought affected furniture manufactured before 2002.
For customers who want to keep the recalled furniture, Ikea will send a crew to anchor the unit to a wall—the subject of a previous Ikea safety campaign some say was inadequate. The Philadelphia Inquirer, which has been reporting on furniture tip-over issues, notes that after two recent toddler deaths, Ikea offered a free wall-anchoring kit last summer—but CNNMoney reports that no design alterations were made and no products were taken off shelves. Then in February, 22-month-old Ted McGee of Minnesota was killed after a Malm dresser toppled onto him, and his parents said they'd never heard of Ikea's anchoring campaign. But while safety advocates applaud Ikea's move, others want more regulation in the furniture industry overall. The Inquirer notes that Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey has introduced legislation that would make stability standards for dressers mandatory. (Read more Ikea stories.)