One of the most unnerving aspects of parenthood is knowing that kids often seem hell-bent on undermining even your best attempts to keep them safe. A mom from Kansas took to Facebook recently to share how her 3-year-old did exactly this, and it lead to an extremely harrowing turn of events. Now she wants parents to know the dangers of front-loading washing machines.
Although she knew she’d be targeted with “the inevitable online mom-shaming that is bound to ensue” and it was “really hard to re-live,” Lindsey McIver clearly felt compelled to share the terrifying moment, with hopes that it could preempt a similar situation for another family.
“On Sunday our washing machine broke down,” she wrote. “On Monday my husband went to Lowe’s and purchased this new front load washing machine. We thought it was the ‘new and cool’ type of washing machine and didn’t think anything of it. We spent that evening installing it with the kids underfoot. We told them several times that they were not to touch it. They all replied ‘OK.’”
Fast-forward to early Tuesday morning when McIver and her husband “were woken up by our four-year-old son who was crying so hard he could barely talk. As I was trying to understand what he was saying, my husband flew out of bed and down the stairs. It was then that the realization hit. He had said: Kloe. Inside. Washer.”
McIver shared, “By the time we reached the laundry room in the basement, my three-year-old daughter Kloe was LOCKED inside the airtight washing machine. It was tumbling and filling with water. She was screaming but you couldn’t hear her. We were able to quickly stop it and unlock the door and get her out. Aside from a couple of small bumps on her head and wet clothes, she was fine.”
Such a nightmare.
McIver went on to note that she and her husband of course went through all the “what if”s and “could have”s, concluding, “We are very blessed and God had mercy on our sweet daughter.”
And she decided to write about this gut-churning incident, because “I can honestly say we did not realize the danger of this machine. We are continually surprised at the new, inventive ways our kids come up with to try and die. And this was definitely a new one.”
Alongside McIver’s post, she shared a photo taken after she and her husband “secured the door shut with a child safety lock.” She explained, “We also found a child lock feature on the settings that, as long as it is engaged, will not allow the washing machine to start. But it does not lock the door. We hadn’t even used the machine yet so we hadn’t looked at any of the settings. Also, it obviously took two curious kids to pull this off. I want to encourage anybody who has this type of front loading washing machine and small children, or even grandkids who visit, to lock the door with a child safety lock and always keep the child lock setting on!”
She went on to acknowledge, “I realize that there are ways we could’ve prevented this from happening. This is the season for swimming pool accidents and kids being left in hot cars and all sorts of other horrible accidents. And that’s what most of them are. Accidents. Shaming the mom doesn’t do anyone any good. We need to be open and honest about our mistakes to help one another keep our kids safe. And trust me, that mom is already beating herself up enough.”
Thankfully, the response has been predominantly supportive, with fellow parents on Facebook expressing gratitude for McIver’s warning, as well as warm words of relief that the little girl was uninjured.
This incident is also an important reminder that washers and dryers are at the crux of more than 2,000 pediatric injuries and even some deaths, according to Consumer Reports. With hope, McIver’s brave admission of this frightening accident could alert more parents to this danger and preempt similarly terrifying incidents.