The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has renewed its warning to consumers about the dangers associated with storage, cedar, hope and toy chests. The warning comes after the deaths of two siblings in Massachusetts. Lids on millions of storage chests and trunks can automatically latch shut, locking children inside and suffocating them. In addition, the lid supports on older toy chests can fail, resulting in the lid closing suddenly. When that happens children can be entrapped or strangled.
It was reported that incidents involving storage and toy chests have occurred when children climbed into chests to hide or sleep. The children could not get out and suffocated in the enclosed space because these spaces are airtight with no ventilation. Other incidents occurred when children were strangled while reaching for items in a chest and the lid fell onto them or because their necks became entrapped between the chest’s walls and its lid.
The CPSC has received reports of 34 deaths since 1996 involving children younger than 18. Tragically, in January 2014, a brother and sister in Franklin, Mass., suffocated to death after becoming trapped inside a 75-year-old Lane cedar chest that had been recalled in 1996. This led to the CPSC’s warning. Types of chests with these hazards include toy chests, cedar chests, cedar trunks, cedar boxes, hope chests, blanket chests, storage benches, and storage trunks.
If you have any questions about any of the above, contact the CPSC at 800-638-2772, a toll-free number. You can also go to the commission’s website, which is cpsc.gov.
Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
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