Even though parents continue to learn of new ways to child-proof their homes, children find new and innovative ways to get themselves into trouble. Washing machine accidents, for example, aren't uncommon — over 2,000 children are seriously injured from a washing machine incident each year, according to Consumer Reports. And that's exactly the kind of danger Lindsey McIver, who recently took to Facebook to share a harrowing story, had to face.
McIver replaced her broken top-load washing machine with a "new and cool" front-load machine for doing the laundry — though it didn't seem so "cool" after experiencing a near-death scare when her daughter got locked inside the airtight machine.
"Early Tuesday morning we were woken up by our four-year-old son who was crying so hard he could barely talk," McIver, of Conifer, Colorado, wrote in her now-viral Facebook post that's since garnered more than 149,000 likes, more than 81,000 comments and more than 320,000 shares thus far. "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 wrote that as she and her husband installed the machine, they repeatedly told their children not to touch it. Of course, she was then horrified to find her daughter inside the machine that she says was "tumbling and filling with water." Her daughter was screaming, but she says no one could hear her. Fortunately, McIver and her husband were able to quickly stop the machine, and their daughter crawled out with only a few bumps on her head.
"I post this because I can honestly say we did not realize the danger of this machine," she continues in her post. "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!"
The Colorado couple secured the door shut with their own child safety lock and then found a child lock feature on the settings that, as long as it's engaged, will not allow the washing machine to start — though it does not lock the door. Acknowledging that there were preventative measures she and her husband could have taken, McIver stresses that "shaming the mom doesn’t do anyone any good." She mentions that she was hesitant to share her family's story on Facebook in the first place because of mom-shamers who've shamed women for everything from letting their kids play with iPads to being a working parent. But she wanted to be "open and honest about [their] mistakes to help [eachother] keep [their] kids safe."
Unable to look at the machine without reliving the horror, McIver and her husband will be returning their LG washing machine for another top-load machine, according to USA Today.
In a release to USA Today's All the Moms, the company pointed to a feature that prevents the washing machine door from being opened once a button is pushed and the machine has been started. LG also wrote: "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 machines and dryers. We encourage people to use this important safety setting and to contact our customer support team if they need any assistance. (LG customer support can be reached 1 (800) 243-0000)."
AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at HerReport.org by night.