POMPANO BEACH, FL (WSVN/CNN) - A Florida family issued a stark warning to parents everywhere after their young son crawled into a cooler to pull a prank and got locked inside.
Surveillance video from March 2 shows 5-year-old Nicholas Wanes climb inside the family cooler. He had decided it would be fun to hide inside.
"We had just come back from a day on the water, and we went in the house. We’re unloading everything. We left the cooler [outside] to dry,” said Rob Wanes, Nicholas’ father.
For more than a minute, Nicholas was in the cooler with the top cracked open, but eventually, the lid dropped and locked.
"When I got locked, I was scared,” Nicholas said. "Like I got locked in there forever."
Thankfully, the little boy’s parents heard him scream and came running.
“You couldn't tell where the scream was coming from. Finally, Rob turned and looked to the cooler, opened it up, and he was in there,” said Maria Wanes, Nicholas’ mother.
Nicholas’ parents immediately lifted him out of the cooler and began to comfort him.
"He was right here in the cooler curled up on his back, and he was screaming, crying. We yanked him out,” Rob Wanes said.
In the end, Nicholas was only inside for a few seconds with the lid all the way down, but his parents wanted to make sure nothing like this happens to another child. They reached out to Igloo, the cooler’s manufacturer.
"Every thought goes through your mind: ‘What if, what if, what if. What if I didn’t hear him? What if I was out front? What if I was upstairs? What if I was in the shower?’” Maria Wanes said.
Rob Wanes also removed the lock from the cooler, saying that’s the only way the family felt safe. They said they hope coolers like theirs will eventually become childproof.
Igloo responded to the Wanes’ story by issuing a voluntary recall on various sizes of the Igloo Marine Elite cooler, the kind of cooler Nicholas was locked inside.
“It has been brought to our attention that a child recently, inadvertently trapped himself inside one of our products. We are very sorry for the scare this incident must have caused the child and his family, and very happy no one was injured. We have contacted the family to express our apologies,” said Igloo in a statement Saturday.
The products under recall are the 54-quart (item #00049374), 72-quart (item #00049375), 94-quart (item #00049574) and 110-quart (item #00034108) Igloo Marine Elite coolers. The recall concerns only those coolers with stainless-steel ability to lock latches.
The coolers were sold through West Marine boating supply and fishing retail stores.
Customers can also replace the latches on their coolers with a free latch-replacement kit. Igloo is working to send the kits out, but if you haven’t received one, you can call the company toll free at 1(888)-257-0934.
The old stainless-steel latches should be discarded after they are removed.