Warning Issued Following 34 Child Deaths Involving Storage, Toy Chests
Millions of toy trunks and storage chests with automatic latches or locks may put children at risk for entrapment and suffocation hazards.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPC) has issued a notice to consumers regarding the safety risks posed by children playing around storage and toy chests, warning that at least 34 deaths since 1996 may have been caused by children becoming trapped inside the chests. Federal safety officials issued the warning on March 5, following the tragic deaths of two siblings in Massachusetts who suffocated after becoming trapped inside a 75-year-old Lane cedar chest that was recalled in 1996. According to the CPSC, lids on millions of toy trunks and storage chests can fail to stay open or may automatically latch shut, putting children at risk for strangulation, entrapment or suffocation. If your child has been fatally injured because of a defective consumer product, contact our consumer advocates at the Leading Justice to speak to a wrongful death attorney today.
Injury, Fatality Risk Posed by Cedar Chests
Many consumers in the United States are currently in possession of storage chests, toy chests, cedar chests, cedar trunks, hope chests, storage benches and storage trunks that have been passed down from generation to generation as heirlooms and therefore have sentimental importance for their families. Unfortunately, many of these storage chests and toy trunks pose serious risks for children who play in or around them, especially if a child climbs into a storage chest to hide or sleep. According to the CPSC, many of the 34 storage trunk fatalities have involved children who could not get out of a heavy wooden chest and suffocated in the airtight space with no ventilation. Other children were strangled to death when they reached for items inside the chest and the heavy lid fell onto their head or neck.
Recalled, Defective Wooden Storage Chests
Federal safety officials have received reports of 34 deaths since 1996, involving children younger than 18 playing in or around storage chests and toy trunks. In response, the CPSC is working in cooperation with the National Association of Resale Thrift Shops, the Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries to ensure that stores do not accept or sell storage chests that have been recalled and may pose a danger to children. Approximately 27 companies have taken action to repair more than 14 million toy trunks and storage chests that may put children at risk for suffocation, strangulation, entrapment or serious injury, and consumers are urged not to purchase or sell any recalled cedar trunks or hope chests that have not been repaired.
Contact a Product Liability Lawyer for Legal Help
As a result of this life-threatening risk to children, the CPSC is advising consumers to remove the latches from recalled Virginia Maid and Lane cedar chests manufactured between 1912 and 1987, and to contact the companies for free replacement hardware. For all other toy chests and storage trunks that have not been recalled but have an automatic latch or lock, consumers are advised to remove the lock and check with the manufacturing company to see if replacement hardware is available. If your child has suffered injuries or been killed while playing in or around a hope chest, cedar chest or toy trunk, contact an experienced product liability lawyer to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a complaint against the manufacturing company, in order to pursue financial compensation for your losses.
[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Source: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/News-Releases/2014/CPSC-Warns-Consumers-of-the-Deadly-Dangers-of-Storage-and-Toy-Chests/[/box]