December 3, 2008  
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Featured Issue: Hazardous Products

Child Entrapment


Children can quickly become entangled in, trapped or suffocate in the very products intended to keep a curious and energetic youngster safe - a playpen. The list of recalled playpen products is, sadly, a long one.

Some of the recalled products have multiple names, which makes it more confusing.

Please inspect your child's playpen equipment closely and contact the company if you have any questions about whether a model you still use has been recalled. Be sure to take full advantage of any replacement or repair resources they may offer.

Playpens made by the following companies have been voluntarily recalled:

Other names to look for include:

Entrapment in Chests

Lane Cedar Chests

The venerable Lane furniture company has been manufacturing traditional cedar chests for many decades. One feature of a typical chest, sold under the Lane and Virginia Maid brands between 1912 and 1987, was a lid that automatically locked when closed. A dozen or more children are believed to have suffocated after being accidentally trapped inside these locked Lane chests. Chests produced by the Lane company since then do not automatically lock. Older, unsafe chests can now be retrofitted to be safe.

To get a free replacement lock by going to, or call (888) 856-8758.

Old Chest-Style Freezers

These long-lived workhorses of self-sufficient family life have always had heavy, insulated lids that, until 1970, automatically latched when closed.

Over 25 deaths have been attributed to entrapment inside these old freezers. Because these kinds of freezers were so well-built in other respects, it's not unlikely that a family may still have one in use. If your decision is to keep a functioning freezer of this vintage, be sure to update its latching mechanism. If you have a non-functioning freezer awaiting discard, take steps to make it safe in the interim.

Chest Freezer Safety brochure

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