Horrifying toddler tragedies highlight laundry room dangers


Two recent stories of toddlers maimed and killed will ensure you never look at your laundry room the same way again. And you shouldn't. Even if all of your detergents are stored securely, it's the washer and dryer themselves that can be death traps for toddlers.

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In the first story, out of Germany, a 3-year-old boy, Franz Bummel, crawled into his family's clothing dryer. His twin brother, Paul, apparently turned the machine on somehow, and their father found the boy dead there some time later. There are no words for how horrifying his discovery must have been.

In the second case, 3-year-old Lewis Lightfoot was trying to help his mother with the laundry. Somehow he was able to open the door while the front-loading machine was running, and his arm got stuck in it. His arm was completely ripped from his body. His mom described the awful event to the Daily Record:

He had walked into the kitchen and the next thing I heard a big bang and heard him scream. I ran into the room. The washing machine door was lying on the floor and Lewis was hanging out of the washer. I noticed straight away his left arm had gone. It was horrible.

After three operations, Lewis is thankfully back home with his family, but his life will never be the same. And all because he was doing something that thousands of toddlers do every day -- playing in the laundry room. My laundry room is right off of my kitchen, and I have toys, art supplies, and all sorts of things in there that my toddler daughter plays alone with regularly, often while the machines are going. I've even seen her attempt to open the washing machine while it's going, but just assumed she'd never be able to open it. These stories definitely make rethink that area's safety.

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As toddlers get older and become more independent, where they can verbalize more and don't stick everything in their mouths, it's easy to relax a bit more, just listen for any problems, and assume they're okay for at least short periods of time. But it's important for us to remember they are still toddlers -- unpredictable, curious toddler -- and they can encounter danger in the most unexpected places.

Have you ever considered the dangers of your washer and dryer when it comes to your toddlers?

Image via bcmom/Flickr

Written by Julie Ryan Evans on CafeMom's blog, The Stir.

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