Child Toy Chests

CPSC has received reports of death and brain damage as a result of child toy chests lids falling on children’s heads or necks. These chests include those specifically manufactured for toy storage, as well as trunks, wicker chests, wooden storage chests, and other similar items.

Most of the children were under two years of age. Accidents occurred when children were reaching over and into the toy chest when the lid dropped, either falling on their heads or trapping them at the neck between the lid and the edge of the toy chest. Another potentially fatal, but less frequent, hazard is suffocation, which has resulted in the deaths of several children. These accidents happened when children climbed into toy chests to hide or sleep. Because the chests were not adequately ventilated, the children suffocated in the enclosed space.

If You Are Buying a New Toy Chest

1. Look for one that has a support that will hold the hinged lid open in any position in which it is placed or buy one with a detached lid or doors.

2. Look for a toy chest with ventilation holes that will not be blocked if the chest is placed against the wall, or a chest which, when closed, has a gap between the lid and the sides of the chest. Many chests are ventilated by a space between the underside of the lid and sides or front of the box.

3. Make certain that the lid of the toy chest does not have a latch.

If you already own a toy chest or trunk with a freely falling lid, CPSC recommends that you REMOVE THE LID to avoid possible tragedy. Otherwise, you may wish to install a lid support device designed to hold the lid open in any position. Buy a spring-loaded lid support that will not require periodic adjustment. Adjustable friction lid support is not safe for use on toy chests.

Child Toy Chests Checklist

1. Toy chests has no latch to entrap child within the chest.

2. Toy chests has spring-loaded lid support that will not require periodic adjustment and will support the lid in any position to prevent lid slam.

3. The chest has ventilation holes or spaces in front or sides, or under lid.

The above article is extracted from Product Safety Commission, Washington, D.C. at You can view the CPSC Proposed Rule For Child Toy Chests Lids here. 

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