Oregon Drowning Demonstrates Common Child Risk

A 21-month-old Oregon child was killed recently when he fell into a washing machine and drowned. The tragic accident has inspired the family to help educate other parents about the dangers of washing machines. Laundry rooms often contain a number of hazards that threaten the health and safety of children. Parents need to understand the danger that washing machines and dryers present so they can take proper precautions to protect their children.

Child-proofing a home is not an easy task. As any parent can tell you, children can find ways to injure themselves doing almost anything. Preventing scrapes and bruises may be difficult or impossible, but there are steps you can take to prevent more serious or fatal injuries to children. The laundry room may be overlooked when parents attempt to child-proof their homes.

Washers and dryers have the potential to cause serious injuries. In addition to the risk of drowning, children have been known to suffer burns from hot water in the machine or from dryers. Children may suffer injuries to their limbs if they come into contact with the rapidly spinning basin in a washing machine. It is also not safe to leave a child on top of a washing machine or dryer, even in a carrier, as the vibration from the machines can cause objects to fall off.

A child can drown in an inch or two of water. If the unit does not fully drain, or if it lacks the safety features necessary to prevent such a tragedy, it is up to parents to prevent this harm from occurring. The best advice is to keep children out of the laundry room. Place locks on the laundry room door or use child safety knobs to keep them out. If this is not possible, make sure your washer and dryer have child safety locks built-in. If they do not, you should consider replacing them.