Twins suffocate in toy box with arms around each other as devastated family issues urgent warning to parents

6 September 2023, 20:12 | Updated: 7 September 2023, 08:26

Parents have been warned after young twins died when they got trapped in a toy box
Parents have been warned after young twins died when they got trapped in a toy box. Picture: GoFundMe

By Will Taylor

An urgent warning has been issued to parents after four-year-old twins suffocated when they closed themselves inside a toy box.

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Aurora and Kellen, from Florida, got into the chest but ran out of oxygen before being found by their older brother the next day.

They were discovered with their arms wrapped around each other.

Now, parents have been asked to ensure their children's toy box is secure as the twins' devastated family spoke of their despair.

Sadie Myers, their mother, who lives in Jacksonville, said: "Me and Don are having an extremely hard time trying to make sense of this… not many will ever know the feeling of trying to not spend EVERY WAKING SECOND crying in agony.

"Something I did not know and I'm sure many others don't know is that most wooden toy chests once closed are AIR TIGHT and also sound proof.

"I hope knowing this helps in some way, and I hope if you have a toy box like this that you destroy it immediately!"

Kellan and Aurora died after getting trapped in a toy box
Kellan and Aurora died after getting trapped in a toy box. Picture: GoFundMe

The twins would often wake up early and play, with their parents typically finding them asleep in the morning surrounded by their toys.

Sadie had previously said the chest was shut in a way so the children shouldn't have been able to open it but they begged her to open it. She also tied something to the latch to make sure they couldn't lock each other in but that did not stop it becoming airtight if it shut.

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Katrina Phillips, the chief executive of the Child Accident Prevention Trust, said: "This is a terrible tragedy and our hearts go out to the family. Do take a moment to check how easy it is to open your child's toy box."

"Many push open easily but there could be a problem with a heavy wooden lid. And teach your children not to climb onto or into furniture."

The twins died after apparently suffocating in a toy box
The twins died after apparently suffocating in a toy box. Picture: GoFundMe

Deanna Myers, Sadie's sister, said the family is living "through the most horrific and painful thing any parent or sibling could be forced to endure".

Starting an online fundraiser to support them, which has raised more than $24,000 (£19,000), she said: "My beautiful sister and her wonderful husband were devastated a few days ago by the unexpected, incomprehensible loss of both of their beautiful four year old twins in a tragic accident.

"As much as these wonderful parents have tried to blame themselves, they can't.

"They couldn't have known that this would happen or done anything to stop it. Four year old twins do so many silly things and they always do them together.

"This accident was one of those absolutely inconceivable things you can't imagine or plan for or believe was even possible.

A warning over toy boxes was issued after the deaths
A warning over toy boxes was issued after the deaths. Picture: Alamy

"Please help me support my heart broken sister and brother-in-law while they figure out a way to heal from their indescribable pain."

She said the parents worked different shifts - one in the morning and the other in the evening - so they never needed to leave their children with a babysitter.

Sadie and Don have two other children.

Deanna said they were "always exhausted" but always present.

"Please help me raise whatever it takes for these two amazing parents and their two remaining children to be able to grieve together without worrying about going back to work right away or stressing about coming up with money to pay bills or final expenses, please," she said.

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