Death and brain damage have been caused by toy chests and other lids falling on children’s heads or necks. Most of the victims were under 2 years of age, although children as old as 10 have also been injured. Twelve million cedar chests made between 1912 and 1987 by the Lane Furniture Company have been recalled. According to the CPSC, at least ten children have died when they became trapped in these chests and suffocated. Since 2005, more than 21,500 toy chests have been recalled due to hazards including strangulation, entrapment, injury, and lead poisoning.
A recall or a corrective action had been issued for chests for various reasons including the following:
• When lid is closed, the chest latches automatically
• Lid supports that fail, causing the lid to collapse suddenly on a child’s head, neck, hands, or fingers. It also poses a strangulation hazard
• Chests that lack a lid support device and do not have adequate ventilation
• Lead poisoning hazard
Make sure your toy chest or trunk stays open without having to hold it and doesn’t latch automatically when closed. A better solution is a chest with a lightweight lid that rests on the unit without being attached or an open bin. If your toy chest doesn’t stay open or latches automatically, stop using it and report it to CPSC. It is now mandatory under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 that toy chests meet these standards.