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Every parent’s nightmare: A 3-year-old gets trapped in a washing machine

When kids begin expressing interest in helping around the house — poking around the dishwasher or learning about the laundry machine — parents normally rejoice. But in the case of two curious kids and a new washing machine, the exact opposite result ensued. On July 10, Lindsey and Alan McIver were woken by the terrified screams of their 4-year-old son, Jace, who managed to convey between sobs that his little sister, 3-year-old Kloe, was trapped inside a spinning washer.

As the McIvers detailed in a Facebook post, Lindsey explained how her toddler wound up locked inside the brand new appliance as it began filling up with water and rotating.

“I post this because I can honestly say we did not realize the danger of this machine,” Lindsey wrote. “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.”

When the McIvers purchased their new washing machine, they told all three of their children to stay away, warning them of its potential dangers. But of course, as 3- and 4-year-olds are wont to do, they disregarded their parents’ instructions. Lindsey told The Washington Post that she believes her daughter climbed in, and her son subsequently shut the door, poking at random buttons and somehow starting a wash cycle.

Luckily, Jace rushed to his parents’ room to attempt to explain what was happening, and both Lindsey and Alan rushed downstairs.

“I could tell she was screaming, but the machine’s airtight,” Alan told Good Morning America earlier this week. “I yanked on the door, I pulled so hard I moved the machine from the wall, but it’s locked, you can’t get it open.” Because the machine was so new to the family, they weren’t entirely clear on how it worked. But Alan continued pushing buttons and pulling on the door, and after pressing pause and then power, the door unlocked, and Kloe was rescued.

Happily, Kloe was essentially unharmed. She had a few small bumps and, of course, wet clothes, but was otherwise physically unhurt.

In her Facebook post, Lindsey noted that she has since installed a physical child safety lock on the washing machine’s door, and has also enabled the washer’s child-lock feature. This feature is one that now comes standard on all LG washers, as Taryn Brucia, director of public relations for LG Electronics, told the Today show. When this setting is enabled, the washer cannot be used. LG has also lauded Lindsey for coming forth with her story in hopes of preventing other parents from experiencing the same nightmare scenario.

The company noted, “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.”

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