Deaths of Children Remind Public about Dangers of Toy Chests, Trunks

Storage and toy chests are a common place for children to hide. But what’s fun quickly can turn tragic. On the heels of a recent tragedy, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is renewing its efforts to raise awareness of the potentially fatal consequences that can occur with these products.

Since 1996, there have been reports of 34 children who lost their lives. The most recent (January 2014) involved the death of two siblings from Massachusetts who suffocated to death after getting stuck inside a 75-year-old Lane cedar chest that had been recalled in 1996.

About 12 million Lane and Virginia Maid brand cedar chests were recalled in 1996 because of the risk of suffocation. But this isn’t the only concern when it comes to trunks. Children could become trapped or strangled if the mechanism that is supposed to keep the lid open fails and suddenly closes on a child’s neck or head.

One of the unique issues surrounding this type of product is that despite a recall, it may have been passed down through the family or sold in a resale shop. Therefore, CPSC urges consumers to check if their trunk was subject to the recall and to contact the manufacturer for a repair kit. They also suggest removing any locking device from all chests, along with hardware that doesn’t keep the lid open.

CPSC is working with the Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries and the National Association of Resale Thrift Shops to ensure that any recalled chests or trunks are not accepted for donation or sold.

It’s important to note that these deadly dangers could include: 

  • cedar trunks;
  • cedar chests;
  • cedar boxes;
  • hope chests;
  • storage benches;
  • storage trunks; and
  • toy chests. 

Contact an attorney at Gacovino, Lake & Associates if you believe a dangerous product resulted in serious or fatal injuries. Even if it seems like the time limit for filing a defective product claim may have passed, there may be legal options available. Give us a call to find out: 800-550-0000.

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