To adults, that empty old refrigerator they have abandoned is nothing but an eyesore and a nuisance.
But to small children, that same abandoned refrigerator is a source of adventure - a mysterious place to explore, a clever place in which to play hide and seek.For such youngsters, it can also be a death trap. Its door closes behind them and can't be opened from the inside. Its thick, insulated walls muffle their cries for help. The air inside is soon exhausted. Young lives quickly flicker out.
Utahns were reminded of this sad lesson the hard way this week. A five-hour search for two young brothers, Brazos Hunt, 7, and Alkali Hunt, 4, ended with the discovery of their bodies inside an older-model refrigerator with a latch handle.
This tragic episode at Garrison in Millard County should remind parents not just to lecture their small children to stay away from abandoned refrigerators; indeed, to young minds, the more forbidden something is, the more alluring it seems. Rather, the lesson is to render all abandoned refrigerators harmless either by chaining and padlocking their doors shut or, better yet, by removing the doors.
May Utahns remember this unhappy event for many years to come. The longer it is recalled, the greater are the chances of its not being repeated.