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Posted On April 4, 2012 Accident Tips & Prevention

Protecting Your Child From Laundry Room Dangers

After the recent news story about the death of a 21-month-old child, the public is finally becoming aware of an often ignored danger to their children—the laundry room. Tiffany Hebb of Oregon was just doing some laundry. When she had to step out of the room for a minute a disaster occurred.

In just the short time Hebb was out of the room, her son Ollie was able to crawl into the filling washing machine. She returned and frantically retrieved him out of the machine and resuscitated him. He later passed at a local hospital due to the extensive brain damage from the drowning.

No parent should have to suffer the tragedy of losing a child, especially in an accident that could have been prevented. When these types of accidents occur it is important to speak with qualified personal injury attorneys in New Jersey.

When baby proofing your home you think of many things such as keeping chemicals in an unreachable or secure location, covering electrical outlets, putting child locks on cabinets and drawers, but how many think of lesser-known dangers like drowning in the washing machine?

This is not an isolated incident either, in 2010 one Chinese toddler climbed into a washing machine while playing hide and seek and was stuck for two hours. Emergency responders had to disassemble the machine and cut him from the plastic drum to free him. Also, in 2011 Shine reported that one boy in Germany was killed when he climbed into a dryer and his twin brother managed to turn it on. They also told the story of one boy whose arm was severed when he opened a front-loading washing machine while it was running and got his arm stuck.

How can you protect your child?

The best way that parents can protect their children is by preparing themselves for any and all scenarios. That means researching lesser-known dangers that are lurking in your house. For laundry room safety you should make sure that:

1. All detergents, bleach, and other cleaners are out of reach of children to avoid accidental ingestion.

Photo Credit: Pixabay (public domain).

2. Hangers, especially wire hangers, should be stored out of reach as they pose a strangulation risk.

Photo Credit: Pixabay (public domain).

3. Keep your child away from running or filling machines as they pose a burn hazard due to the hot water and hot mechanical parts.

4. Your child should never be allowed on top of or in the dryer or washing machine. You need to make sure that your child knows that they are not “play places”. They could fall, get limbs caught within, or become trapped in the machines.


Photo Credit: Pixabay (public domain).

5. If at all possible keep your child out of the laundry room completely.

It is our job as parents to protect our children from these dangers. Children, especially young ones, are extremely curious and if unattended could put themselves in danger.