Consumers urged to take action with dangerous cedar chests

There’s a renewed warning about certain hope chests that could put your child at risk for suffocation.

Several children have died of suffocation after becoming trapped in the auto-locking chests by Lane and Virginia Maid.

“Back in the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s, moms would usually get one when they graduated from high and [the chests] would get passed down to their children,” said Lorrie Fields, owner of Fields Of Treasure antique shop in West Carrollton.

The hope chests made before 1987 are dangerous because they auto-lock.

Fourteen children have suffocated inside of them, including a 15-year-old girl from Reynoldsburg.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has warned of this danger for years.

“We originally issued the Lane cedar chest recall — 12 million of them — in 1996,” said Patty Davis of CPSC. “We are concerned that millions of these chests remain unrepaired and in consumers’ homes.”

The CPSC is urging consumers to check again for these dangerous chests.

“[Check] you attic, your basement to see if you have one of these recalled chests,” said Davis. “And if you do, remove that latch and lock immediately and contact the company — which is UFI — to receive a free replacement.”

Fields said that the chests sell for $75 to $150, and if you are looking to sell one, fix it first.

“People are maybe worried it may affect the value of it and it should not,” she said. “You know it’s just not something you would be able to notice.”

To receive a free replacement latch and lock, contact UFI at 877-251-5010, email or order one here.

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