Many years ago parents were warned about the dangers of keeping freezers or fridges on site with the door still attached as children could climb in and become locked in, eventually leading to injury or death. Other reports of injury or death have resulted from children being trapped under dressers which have been knocked over, as well as children being trapped in trunks of cars. However, this week the story of two siblings being trapped in a hope chest in the home currently leads the news about accidental deaths.
New York Daily News reports that siblings Lexi Munroe, 8, and her brother, Sean, 7 were found around 8 p.m. trapped in an older hope chest type trunk made by the manufacturer Lane Furniture. There were adults in the home and the television was playing "quite loudly." When the children were discovered they were rushed to the hospital where they were pronounced dead. A neighbor tells ABC News, of the family, "Everything they did was for the kids," she said. "This is just a tragic accident."
Apparently this chest could only be opened from the outside. Lane Furniture working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled these trunks in 1996. According to the Consumer Protection Safety Commission, approximately 12 million cedar chests from 1912 to 1987 of this type where recalled due to the dangers of being locked in when the lid is closed. A renewed recall was posted by the CPSC after two more deaths resulted from being caught in similar chests. The company has since been purchased and has a new name, however the Lane Furniture website continues to post a warning about the product and offers a new lock to be used on it. The company states that trunks and chests manufactured after 1997 have the safety locks on them to prevent being trapped inside.
It's important when purchasing or using used goods to check for safety information and recall information. You can stay up to date when you register for recall notices from the CSPS, FDA and USDA here. If purchased used items you can also search for recall notices and find out if there are any dangers associated with that product.