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Deadly chests still can kill small children

When we think about defective or dangerous product recalls, we think of some recent, headline grabbing news story. We think of recalls of cars suffering from defective parts, electric appliances that catch fire, or contaminated food that causes dangerous illnesses or death. We forget that for many "durable goods" are just that, durable, and even if they have been recalled, there may be many thousands of these dangerous products still in circulation.

This may be particularity a problem with those defective products that were recalled many years ago. In the days before the internet, if a recall did not make first page headlines, many people may never have known the item was subject to a recall. 

They may have stopped using it before the recall or the defect may not have developed while they owned it. Or they might have sold it at a garage sale or given it away, never knowing it had been recalled.

Such is the case with a dangerous cedar chest that was last manufactured 27 years ago. Lane Home Furniture recently reissued a warning concerning the chest after two small children suffocated after becoming trapped inside.

The chest came with a self-locking latch, which allowed children to get into the chest and then be unable to open the lid. The chest was recalled in 1996 after multiple child deaths. The problem is 1996 is almost twenty years ago and few people would remember a recall from that period.

People may have these cedar chests in their attics or buy them second hand, never knowing the threat they pose. If you have one of these chests, you should remove the latch and contact the manufacturer for replacement parts.

Source: ABCnews.com, "Furniture Maker Renews Warning After 2 Kids Suffocated Inside Chests," Associated Press, February 24, 2014

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