A mom in Colorado is pleading with parents to keep their kids away from washing machines after her three-year-old daughter almost drowned.
Lindsey McIver posted an emotional message on Facebook recounting what happened after two of her kids, aged four and three, were left alone for a short period of time with the family's new washing machine.
McIver admitted that the message was hard to post, "because of the inevitable online mom-shaming that is bound to ensue; and second, because it’s just really hard to re-live."
On Sunday our washing machine broke down.
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.”
Early Tuesday morning we 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.
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.
After going through all the “what if‘s” and “could have’s” we know we are very blessed and God had mercy on our sweet daughter. I post this 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.
I took this picture after we secured the door shut with a child safety lock. 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! 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.
McIver's post has been shared over 300,000 times in just under a week.
Taryn Brucia, Director of Public Relations for LG Electronics, released a statement on the incident:
We applaud Ms. McIver for telling her story and share in her efforts to make sure that consumers are aware of the child safety lock feature available on LG washing machine and dryers. We encourage people to use this important safety setting and to contact our customer support team if they need assistance.
According to Consumer Reporters, more than 2,000 kids are seriously injured each year, some even die, “after reaching, climbing or falling into washers and dryers or toppling down from them."
Though McIver was worried about the mom-shaming that might come along with her post, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
Knowing the safety risks of all appliances and ensuring your kids are safe should be the number one priority for parents. Even if you think something is childproof, always take that extra step to make sure you aren't taking any risks.