Concern over the safety of children has IKEA urging anyone who has bought certain dressers and drawers to take immediate steps to anchor the furniture to the wall.
The warning from one of the nation's largest furniture retailers comes as the Consumer Product Safety Commission says that the dressers and drawers pose a serious risk of injury, and even death, from toppling on children if they are not anchored.
The nation-wide action involves 27 million pieces of IKEA dressers with three, four and six drawers. IKEA has announced that it's currently offering free wall anchoring kits for many of its children and adult furniture that are available online and at any IKEA stores.
"At IKEA we are committed to helping raise the awareness of this serious home safety issue and to continue to provide consumers with the tools and knowledge they need to prevent these accidents,'' the company said in a statement.
One child is injured from furniture toppling over every 24 minutes, and a child dies every two weeks from falling furniture or televisions, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
"Children see something that they are trying to get that's been left on, they start to climb, the unit falls over,'' Elliot Kaye, chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, told Tom Costello on TODAY Wednesday. "We are talking deaths. We've had two children in the last year-and-a-half die from these types of units."
Besides those two recent deaths, three other children have died since 1989 in similar incidents, which also involved furniture that was not from IKEA.
Meghan Agnes Beck died at three years old in 2004 when a dresser, not made by IKEA, fell on her while the rest of the family was asleep. Her family has since started the organization Meghan's Hope to raise awareness of the issue and give tips on how to prevent accidents.
"I saw my beautiful little girl not breathing, not moving; she looked like she had been bruised,'' Meghan's mother, Kimberly, told TODAY. "I have to live without my beautiful daughter for the rest of my life because I didn't want to put holes in my wall or my furniture. And the reality is that five dollars and fifteen minutes could have saved her life."
For families renting homes where furniture is not allowed to be anchored to the wall, Kaye says to get rid of it.
"If you cannot anchor this, do not use it,'' Kaye said.