Igloo Coolers Recalled After Boy, 5, Gets Trapped Inside: 'We Could Hear the Frantic Screams'
Robert Wanes shared a Facebook video of his 5-year-old son getting trapped in a cooler after a trip to the beach.
A Texas manufacturer has voluntarily recalled several of its coolers after a father shared video footage of his 5-year-old son becoming trapped inside one of the ice chests.
Igloo Products Corp. is recalling at least five of its Marine Elite coolers, admitting that the stainless-steel latches on the boxes “could, inadvertently close where a person could potentially become locked inside.”
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“We are working closely with our distributors to send customers a free latch-replacement kit that you can use to easily and safely switch out the current latch,” officials said in a statement on the company’s website.
The announcement came just days after Robert Wanes shared a Facebook video on March 5 of his son Nicholas playing in the cooler and getting locked inside. Dressed in a pair of blue swim trunks, the boy is seen climbing into the box and peeking under the cooler’s lid before the latch closes.
Wanes — whose page indicates that the family lives in Pompano Beach, Florida — wrote alongside the video that Nicholas had been playing by himself and “thought it was a good idea” to climb into the empty cooler. Wanes said that he and his family had just returned from the beach and cleaned out the cooler when the incident occurred.
“Our son starts to scream frantically with one of those screams when you know something is wrong,” Wanes wrote in the video. “We hear it from inside the house and rush outside not knowing at first where his screams were coming from. We had no idea how long he was locked inside!”
The boy’s family is then shown rushing into the camera’s view and appearing to search for Nicholas, who was in the small cooler. When they realized what had happened, a man pulled the cooler’s lid up and a woman grabbed Nicholas from inside.
“Thank god we could hear the frantic screams from inside the house,” Wanes continued in the video. “Luckily he was ok. Mom on the other hand was a complete wreck for days.”
Wanes identified the box as an Igloo Marine Elite cooler and noted that the company vowed to recall the latch. Igloo officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has provided safety tips to prevent similar situations –– some of which have resulted in death. The CPSC recommends keeping children away from “old-style refrigerators, freezers, coolers or dryers that are still in use” and locking the doors to utility rooms and removing the doors from “old-style” refrigerators or appliances.