Barbara's Beat: Recalled cedar chests continue to kill children

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Recalled cedar chests continue to kill children

 Recalled Lane and Virginia Maid Cedar Chests can kill kids

Barbara's Beat runs recalls on its right sidebar and on Facebook. At times, we also write a post about a recalled product to make sure the public is aware. Today we want you to know some cedar chests can be deadly. 

After viewing Inside Edition tonight, we learned about a recall made years ago that continues to kill our children. They are still in millions of homes and being sold in second-hand shops.

Cedar chests are beautiful to store linens and quilts in, and we would love to have one. Thinking about this recall, it's a good thing we don't have one with three grandchildren. 

Many people who are selling these chests in antique stores aren't even aware of the recall or the deadly dangers. As consumers we have to be more vigilant as we make purchases that can harm our children. Anything that can't be opened from the inside is dangerous if a child can get inside of it.

In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), The Lane Co., of Altavista, Va., is calling for a renewed search for cedar chests to replace their locks. In 1996, Lane recalled 12 million chests with lids that automatically latch shut when closed, following reports of six children suffocating inside the chests. CPSC and Lane have since become aware of another suffocation death and two near fatalities to children who became entrapped in the chests when the lid closed and automatically latched shut.

All "Lane" and "Virginia Maid" brand cedar chests manufactured between 1912 and 1987 need to have their locks replaced. The chests are often handed down through families, and it is likely that many were purchased second-hand.

Lane is providing new locks, free of charge, that will prevent entrapment because they do not automatically latch shut when the lid is closed. The new locks are easy to install by consumers in their homes.

To prevent another tragedy, CPSC and Lane are urging consumers to check their "Lane" and "Virginia Maid" brand cedar chests. The brand name "Lane" or "Virginia Maid" is located inside the cedar chest. If the lid latches shut without depressing a button on the outside of the chest, the lock needs to be replaced. 

Contact Lane toll-free at (800) 327-6944 Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT, or access their web site at to order the free replacement lock. Consumers should have the chest's serial and style numbers, which are branded on the outside bottom or back of the chest, available when contacting Lane.

Do you own one of these cedar chests? Do you know someone that owns one? If so, please spread the word so another child doesn't die.

1 comment :

Alicia Figueroa said...

Oh my goodness that is terrifying to think of those poor children getting stuck inside! My grandfather used to make big chests like this for us kids (we called them Hope Chests) but they didn't even have a latch, you just opened them right up. I wonder what the point of having a latch on them even is? It's not like the items you put inside are going to try and break out, and I'd think most people would be smart enough not to leave real valuables inside something that could get carried out of the house as easily as a TV!