Child accidentally trapped inside cooler prompts warning to parents

POMPANO BEACH, Florida -- A family in Florida is sounding the alarm, issuing a stark warning to parents everywhere after their young son crawled into a cooler and got locked inside.

WSVN-TV reports, the boy's okay, but the terrifying moments were enough for mom and dad to take action and speak out.

"We had just come back from a day on the water and we went in the house, were unloading everything, we left the cooler out there to dry," said the boy's father, Rob Wanes.

And video captured what happened next.

The Wanes family's little 5-year-old son, Nicholas, decided it would be fun to hide in the cooler.

For more than a minute he's in there with the top cracked open, but eventually the top drops and locks.

"We heard this muffled scream," explained Nicholas' mom, Maria Wanes.

"It was an awful scream as if a child had fallen and gotten really hurt," Rob said.

"We came running out and you couldn't tell where the scream was coming from. Finally, Rob turned and looked to the cooler open it up and he was in there," Maria said.

"He was right here in the cooler curled up on his back and he was screaming crying. We yanked him out," Rob said.

The cooler is an IGLOO 72 qt. Marine Elite and has a latch that allows the user to secure it with a lock.

"So, what he had done he had climbed in the cooler, and it was like that. And then in the video to see his tiny little fingers push that out. Now he is trapped inside," said Rob.

Fortunately for Nicholas, he was only in there a few seconds with the lid all the way down but the Wanes want to make sure nothing like this happens to another child.

They've reached out to IGLOO and to the store where they purchased it.

"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? I mean, that's what's - that's why we want to get this out there," Maria said.

Rob took the lock off of the cooler so this can't happen again.

The family is hoping coolers like theirs will eventually become child-proof.