Kids get into all kinds of trouble, and a couple in Florida are feeling extra grateful that they rescued their son just in time from inside a cooler.
Robert and Maria Wanes had spent a day out on the water with their children earlier this month, and when they returned home, they quickly noticed that their 5-year-old son Nicholas had gone missing.
As Nicholas recounted to WPLG, he was attempting to play “hide-and-go-seek” in a “not-good hiding spot.” This spot happened to be the inside of a drinks cooler that his parents had left out to dry.
As seen in a surveillance video from the Wanes’ home, Nicholas ducks into the 18-gallon cooler.
The cooler’s lid was held up by its latch, and Nicholas was completely safe for all of two minutes, until he tugged it, causing the lid to shut and trap him inside.
Instinctively, Nicholas started screaming, and his parents were able to rush to his aid and pull the cooler open.
“We just grabbed him for dear life,” Maria said. She realizes that they were extremely lucky to hear his screams, and doesn’t want “another family to not hear their child and go through this.”
Robert is placing blame on the makers of the cooler, Igloo, for failing to make coolers that have a method of opening from the inside.
“I know we’re all supposed to watch our kids and make sure they don’t crawl into a cooler, but as we know, it only takes a second to turn the other way,” he said.
As a response, Igloo has issued a voluntary recall of four products in the last week.
“We are very sorry for the scare this incident must have caused the child and his family, and very happy no one was injured,” the company issued a statement.
But Igloo further added that there was a “performance malfunction” to the cooler’s latch that let the lid shut down on Nicholas. The company has said that three products with the same latch have all been recalled, along with the specific model in which Nicholas became trapped.
The four products that were affected are “Igloo Marine Elite” coolers, which are sold at West Marine stores, and are marketed towards boating enthusiasts. Igloo says some customers will be sent free “latch-replacement kits” to make the coolers they’ve bought safer.
Below is the complete list of the recalled products:
Igloo Marine Elite 72 quart; Item #00049375
Igloo Marine Elite 54 quart; Item #00049374
Igloo Marine Elite 94 quart; Item #00049574
Igloo Marine Elite 110 quart; Item #00034108
You can also directly contact Igloo toll-free and request a latch-replacement kit at 1(888)-257-0934.