Wooden Storage Chests Could Be Death Trap for Young Children

Wooden Storage Chests Could Be Death Trap for Young Children
Image: NCCC
May 5, 2014

Do you have an old wooden storage chest lying around your home? Maybe it's in an attic? Maybe you've put it in your child's room?

Recently, two Boston-area children tragically died while playing hide and seek in a chest. The children reportedly climbed into a Lane hope chest that latched shut automatically. There was no way to open the airtight chest from the inside.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is investigating the deaths of these children.

Lane Cedar Chests were first recalled in 1996. The recall involved 12 million 'Lane' and 'Virginia Maid' brand cedar chests made between 1912 and 1987. This recall is still active. Lane renewed its search for hazardous chests in March of 2000 upon learning of another child death and two near deaths.

If you have one of these chests, Lane wants you to know that they are still providing new latches and locks that will prevent children from being trapped inside the chests. Contact the company to request a new latch/lock. While you await the arrival of the new hardware, remove the existing hardware set from your chest. Don't take a chance that this could happen to a child in your life.

To get replacement hardware for your Lane or Virginia Maid storage chest free of charge, contact the company at Lanefurniture.com. CPSC has received a total of 34 reports of child deaths since 1996 involving toy chests, cedar chests, cedar trunks, hope chests, blanket chests, storage benches, storage trunks, and cedar boxes. Not all of these deaths involved Lane cedar chests.

If you own any type of wooden chest or storage trunk, regardless of whether it's included in the Lane recall, disable or remove the lock or latch that secures the lid.