He was wailing so loudly that she couldn’t understand what he was trying to tell her. It was so early and she was still half asleep. She assumed that her son had suffered a nightmare. But then she realized something was wrong when she saw her husband get out of bed and storm out of the room. Then, she understood what her son was trying to tell her, and this woke her right up.
Lindsey and Alan McIver never expected to start their morning this way. But what led to the events of this day began a few days earlier on a peaceful Sunday. Lindsey had gone to the basement to do some laundry. This was a typical weekly routine for her. She separated the clothes and then placed the first load inside the washing machine. Then she pressed the start button, but the washer didn’t turn on. It seemed like it was broken.
Lindsey asked Alan to check out the machine to see if he could fix it, but no matter what he did, the washer wouldn’t turn on. It was Sunday, so even if they called an electrician, he probably wouldn’t come that day. Besides, the washer was old. So, after talking about it for a bit, and doing some research online, they decided it was time to buy a new washing machine. But they had no idea how this decision was going to affect them.
On Monday, after work, Alan went to Lowe’s and bought a new washer and brought it home. Lindsey was very happy because they’d never owned a front-load washer before. It was so modern too. “We thought it was the “new and cool” type of washing machine,” Lindsey recalled. After eating dinner, Lindsey and Alan went down to the basement and started installing the washer in the laundry room. But there were curious bystanders lurking.
Lindsey and Alan had two girls and a boy, who were well-behaved despite the fact that they were young. However, they were still kids and a handful sometimes, particularly because they were curious about everything. This was why the McIvers always taught them why they could and couldn’t do certain things. But that day, the three kids watched with curiosity as their parents worked on the washer. “We told them several times that they were not to touch it. They all replied “OK”,” explained Lindsey. But did they get it?
By the time the washer was installed, it was really late, so they decided not to wash any clothes until the next day. Instead, everyone went to bed. But the next morning, Lindsey and Alan woke up to the alarming sound of their four-year-old son’s incessant crying. In between his sobbing, he kept trying to say something, but they were having a really rough time trying to understand their son, and they were confused by his behavior too.
Nightmares were common at his age, and he had woken up crying from a bad dream before, but this was different. Lindsey and Alan couldn’t figure out what he was trying to tell them, but they knew something wasn’t right. Then, out of nowhere, Alan leaped from the bed and ran out of the room, which left Lindsey very confused. Then she heard three shocking words that came out of her son’s mouth. “Kloe. Inside. Washer.”
Lindsey ran after her husband, who was heading to the basement. Once they made it to the laundry room, they saw something that made their hearts stop. Kloe, their 3-year-old daughter, was trapped inside the washer with the door locked. The kids had been playing with the washer, and accidentally activated the washer, so now, Kloe was tumbling inside, and the water was willing up fast. “She was screaming but you couldn’t hear her,” recalled Lindsey. There was no time to waste.
The McIvers pushed the stop button right away. Then, they unlocked the door and opened it, causing water to spill on the floor while the couple pulled their terrified daughter out of the washer. Her hair was a mess, her pajamas were wet, and she had a couple of bumps on her head, but all in all, she was okay. But this was a learning experience for Lindsey and Alan.
This incident was a wake up call for the McIvers. It made them see that regardless of what they told their kids, their curiosity would always win out in the end. “We are continually surprised at the new, inventive ways our kids come up with to try and die,” said Lindsey. “And this was definitely a new one.” To that end, the couple realized that they’d have to be more careful about what they brought into their home next time.
“I can honestly say we did not realize the danger of this machine,” explained Lindsey. The couple hadn’t gotten a chance to read the manual because the washer hadn’t been in their home a full day yet. So naturally, they didn’t have a clue that their kids could turn the washer on that easily. But after doing some research, they learned this didn’t have to happen.
After studying the washer’s settings carefully, Lindsey and Alan discovered that the machine has a child lock feature. When activated, the feature would prevent the machine from starting. But, this wouldn’t keep a child from crawling inside the machine and getting locked inside. The McIvers didn’t want to take any more risks, so they purchased a child safety lock and installed it on the washer’s door. But Lindsey felt that this wasn’t enough.
Lindsey felt guilty about not child-proofing the washer earlier, so she chose to share her horrifying experience with other parents. “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!” But she wasn’t finished yet.
Lindsey also made a plea on her post, asking people not to shame other mothers who experienced a similar accident. “That’s what most of them are,” she wrote. “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.” Fortunately, Lindsey’s post got lots of positive feedback.
Lindsey received tons of comments on her post, many of which came from other mothers who were grateful that she warned them of this particular danger. “I thank you so much for sharing, I was thinking about getting one of these and I had no idea they even had control locks, nor did I think about my baby climbing inside,” a woman named Crystal Deniece wrote. By sharing her story, Lindsey may have saved a lot of kids out there.