PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hope Chests Still Pose A Danger, Despite Recall

A Lane brand cedar chest. (Roadsidepictures/Flickr)

Lane Furniture recalled its cedar chests made between 1912 and 1987, after several children became trapped inside them and died. But hope chests with exterior-only locks are still relatively common. (Roadsidepictures/Flickr)

A family in Massachusetts is reeling after two of their children, ages 7 and 8, died after climbing into an old hope chest, which slammed shut and locked, suffocating them inside.

The chest was made by Lane Furniture of Virginia. In 1996, after reports of six children suffocating to death, the company recalled all Lane and Virginia Maid brand cedar chests produced between 1912 and 1987.

Still, one more child suffocated, and the company was reportedly fined for failure to get the word out. Now the word is spreading again.

It’s not clear if the family’s Lane chest was one of those models recalled, but their terrible loss made many others aware that a lot of old hope chests have these exterior-only locks.

Last night, I set on my grandmother’s with a hammer and broke the lock. You might want to check yours.

Note: If you have a chest from Lane Furniture with the outside-only lock, you can contact them to get a free safety lock (which does open from the inside) to replace it. More info here.

Transcript

ROBIN YOUNG, HOST:

And now we want to take a look at another story for just a second, which is, frankly, all we can bear. A family here in Massachusetts is reeling after two of their children, age 7 and 8, died after climbing into an old hope chest which slammed shut and locked, suffocating them inside. The chest was made by the Lane Company of Virginia.

In 1996, after reports of six children suffocating, the company recalled all Lane and Virginia-made cedar chests produced between 1912 and 1987. Still, one more child suffocated and Lane was reportedly fined for failure to get the word out. Now, the word is spreading again. It's not clear if the family's Lane chest was one of the models recalled, but their terrible loss made many others aware that a lot of old hope chests have these exterior-only locks.

Some younger people have been asking, what's a hope chest anyway? It's where, once, young women would store items in the hopes of getting married and having children. Last night, I set on my grandmother's with a hammer and broke the lock. You might want to check yours. This is HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson are hitting the road. Our Tumblr brings you behind the scenes of our election coverage.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

February 10 Comment

A Look At Prisons Around The World, With A Spotlight On Our Own

Baz Dreisinger visited prisons in nine countries and wrote about her experiences in a new book, "Incarceration Nations."

February 10 4 Comments

Needle Exchange Tries To Keep Pace With Rising Drug Use

Facilities like this one on Skid Row could receive a boost now that Congress has lifted a ban on federal funding.

February 9 11 Comments

Aviation Factory Struggles To Attract Young Workers

Business is booming at the GE Aviation plant in New Hampshire, but it's having trouble drawing young workers.

February 9 13 Comments

Opiate Addiction In New Hampshire

Robin Young visits a clinic called Recover Together that charges patients $65 a week for group therapy and a Suboxone prescription.