CPSC Warns Consumers of the Deadly Dangers of Storage and Toy Chests; 34 Deaths Reported



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-- WITH PHOTO -- TO NATIONAL, AND RETAILING EDITORS:

CPSC Warns Consumers of the Deadly Dangers of Storage and Toy Chests;

34 Deaths Reported

WASHINGTON, March 5, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following the

deaths of two siblings in Massachusetts, the U.S. Consumer Product

Safety Commission (CPSC) is renewing its warning to consumers about

the dangers associated with storage, cedar, hope and toy chests. 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 to prevent the lid from closing

suddenly, entrapping or strangling children by the head or neck.

Storage and toy chest incidents 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 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.

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 recalled in 1996.

Types of chests with these hazards include toy chests, cedar chests,

cedar trunks, cedar boxes, hope chests, blanket chests, storage

benches, and storage trunks. These chests may be located in living

areas or bedrooms and used daily, or stored in attics, basements or

garages. They often are passed down as family heirlooms or found in

resale stores.

CPSC is working with and appreciates the cooperation of the National

Association of Resale Thrift Shops (NARTS), Goodwill Industries, and

the Salvation Army to take steps to ensure that resale store managers

and staff do not accept or sell chests that have been recalled or pose

a danger to children. Consumers are also urged not to purchase or sell

any recalled chest that has not been repaired. About 27 companies have

taken action to correct more than 14 million toy and storage chests

that posed a suffocation, strangulation or injury risk.

CPSC is advising consumers to remove the latch from the recalled Lane

and Virginia Maid brand cedar chest made between 1912 and 1987 and to

contact Lane for free replacement hardware. Twelve million chests were

recalled in 1996.

For all other chests that have not been recalled but have an automatic

latch/lock, disable or remove the lock and check with the chest

manufacturer to see if the manufacturer is offering replacement

hardware.

If the lid support does not keep the lid open in every position, you

should remove the lid's support or replace it with a spring-loaded lid

support that will keep the lid open in any position. Remove or replace

an unsafe adjustable lid support on these toy chests. In addition,

all toy chests should have ventilation holes that are not blocked by

the floor or against the wall. These are key safety provisions of the

federal toy standard, ASTM F963-07.

Photos are available at

http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2014/CPSC-Warns-Consumers-of-the-Deadly-Dangers-of-Storage-and-Toy-Chests

CPSC Consumer Information Hotline Contact us at this toll-free number

if you have questions about a recall: 800-638-2772 (TTY 301-595-7054)

Times: 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. ET; Messages can be left anytime Call to get

product safety and other agency information and to report unsafe

products.

Media Contact Please use the phone numbers below for all media

requests. Phone: (301) 504-7908 Spanish: (301) 504-7800 Link Text:

View CPSC contacts for specific areas of expertise

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20030904/USCSCLOGO

SOURCE U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

-0- 03/05/2014

/Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20030904/USCSCLOGO

PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com

/Web Site: http://www.cpsc.gov

CO: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

ST: District of Columbia

IN: HOU REA FRN

SU: RCL CHI

PRN

-- DC77305 --

0000 03/05/2014 15:30:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com

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The Associated Press

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