A brother and sister died yesterday after apparently suffocating in a wooden chest in their home, The Boston Globe is reporting. The chest was made by Lane Furniture.
The company's website says: "Between 1912 and 1987, Lane and Virginia Maid manufactured and sold an estimated 12 million cedar chests. Cedar chests made during these years latch shut without having to depress a button. In recent years, several children have suffocated inside chests with old style locks. As a result, Lane has launched several successful programs concentrating on lock replacement. However, there are still an estimated 6 million chests that need the locks replaced. Chests manufactured after 1987 already have the new safety lock." (Read the recall notice here.)
If you have any items of furniture like this -- those that lock and can't be easily opened from the inside -- please be sure to get them retrofitted or destroy them (don't just donate them; another family might not know the dangers).
What a heartbreaking story.