My 3-Year-Old Got Locked Inside Our Front-Loading Washing Machine

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“I’ve been hesitant to write this post. First, 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 ifs’ and ‘could haves’ 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.”

font-loading washing machine with a child lock on door
Courtesy of Lindsey McIver

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Lindsey McIver of Conifer, Colorado. Join the Love What Matters family and subscribe to our newsletter.

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