SEATTLE, Wash. — Owners of cedar chests must remain vigilant about making sure that children cannot get inside cedar chests. Any child small enough to climb in and shut the lid could suffocate and die. These warnings are not new. However, consumer advocates say that cedar chests are commonly sold in second-hand marketplaces, according to Fox Q13. Second-hand sellers have no obligation to inform buyers about the dangers lurking inside a cedar chest. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, warned purchasers that certain cedar chests sold under the name of Virginia Maid or Lane made between 1912 and 1987 pose a substantial threat to children.
The CPSC maintains statistics of various injuries and deaths caused by consumer products. In the case of cedar chests, the CPSC says that fourteen children died from suffocation in cedar chests from 1977 until 2015. The children suffocated after getting accidentally locked inside the chests. The CPSC recognizes that cedar chests appear to a child to be a fun place to hide. Little do they know cedar chests could quickly become a tomb.
The Lane and Virginia Maid chests have a locking mechanism that could only be used from the outside. The lid locks once it is shut and there is no emergency release from the inside. Children quickly run out of air after falling into a cedar chest. The CPSC says that the cedar chests, which have been subject to consumer recall campaigns in the past, are airtight and soundproof. Sadly, children often go missing, and one of the last places an adult might look is in the cedar chest.
The CPSC advises people who own cedar chests to remove the latch and locking mechanism from the lid. The manufacturer of these two specific cedar chests, United Furniture Industries, will prove the owners with a free replacement part. The replacement part prevents the lid from automatically locking, and a child could push on the cover and open it if trapped inside.
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