The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging consumers to “immediately replace or remove” latches and locks on recalled Lane and Virginia Maid cedar chests. The chests have been linked to the deaths of at least 14 children.
According to a release, the CPSC originally recalled 12 million cedar chests manufactured by Lane and Virginia Maid in 1996 after noting that the automatically locking latches pose an entrapment and suffocation hazard to children. However, millions of these dangerous products remain unfixed.
Federal authorities state that between 1977 and 2015, 14 children have suffocated to death after becoming locked in the recalled chests. However, because the chests were initially manufactured in 1912, it is likely that additional deaths remain unrecorded.
The Lane Company and brand were recently acquired by United Furniture Industries, Inc. who is now distributing free replacement latches and locks to affected consumers.
Until a replace lock and latch is received, consumers should remove old style latches to eliminate the hazard.
Consumers should remember that in many cases, these recalled chests are handed down or purchased second-hand.
The following statistics are provided by SafeKids USA:
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