The child‘s death is not being treated as suspicious by police
Curiosity is a given in children growing up, and it's something that must be encouraged because it quite literally ignites the creative spark in a child. “While there is a generally held and intuitive belief that curiosity is important, there isn’t much empirical support for it, though I think curiosity is important. I have found curiosity to be related to children’s question-asking, and both curiosity and question-asking to be related to children's ability to deal with uncertainty in the world and find effective ways of resolving that uncertainty," says Jamie Jirout, PhD, a researcher at the Department of Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia.
HOW CAN A SMALL CHILD BE FOUND INSIDE A RUNNING FRONT LOADING WASHING MACHINE AND IT NOT BE DEEMED "SUSPICIOUS". Fairly certain he or she didn't turn it on themselves 😲😩 https://t.co/UEjSgpxFp1— Prue (@Charliepie15) February 21, 2021
But sometimes curiosity can also land children in danger and in the most unsuspecting way. Recently, a little child of pre-school age was found dead inside a washing machine in Christchurch, New Zealand. The child was found unresponsive in a front-loading washing machine that had been turned on, according to Daily Mail. A spokesperson said that officers were notified of an incident that took place in the suburb of Hoon Hay at about 5 p.m. on Friday, February19, 2021, reports the Mirror. "One person was injured and taken to hospital where they later died. Police are making enquiries into the circumstances of the death and the coroner has been informed," as per news.com.au.
srzly wtf!? why would a child die inside! imma kill myself if my child dies in a washing machine. of all things!!!— H (@hersheysmonster) February 24, 2010
According to Star News, chairwoman Karolyn Potter from the Waihoro/Spreydon-Cashmere Community Board said the community was resilient and would rally around the family. She said: "This is a sadness that's beyond talking about." Spreydon ward councillor Dr Melanie Coker added that she had only learnt about the "absolutely heart breaking" incident after seeing media reports, but sent her condolences to the family. It has also been reported that the child's death will not be treated as suspicious by the police.
However, this is not a one-off case. In 2012, a 21-month-old boy died in hospital after falling into the machine when laundry was being done, and drowned. In 2019, a three-year-old boy died in a front-loading washing machine in Orlando. He was playing with his sibling and climed into the washing machine, when the door closed, thus trapping and suffocating the little boy. According to the US-based Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 3,000 children aged under five have gone to hospital emergency rooms to be treated for washing machine related injuries since 2014. However, deaths were rare, with only 2 reported to have died from a washing-machine related injury.
This just highlights the dangers of front-loading washing machines. Non-profit group Consumer Reports says, "It's critical that parents explain to their young children that appliances are not toys, and that they can be dangerous. It's equally important to point out any potential dangers to anyone watching your children while you’re away. Remember that young kids are at a developmental stage that makes them especially curious."
US-based non-profit consumer organisation Consumer Reports has a few tips to childproof your laundry room. Here are some of them:
Lock your laundry room
Use a childproof safety lock
Close the water valve to your washing machine when not in use
Laundry pods should be kept far away and out of reach from children so they don't consume them
People took to social media to express their grief. Sherrilyn Barnes-Hannah wrote: So many questions. Why didn’t the child shout when the clothes were put in the machine? My machine goes for between 1.5 hours-2.5 hours, how come the child wasn’t missed in all that time? But bless him, RIP little one. Cheryl Crawford shared: I am sorry what happen to a young child and where is the parents they should be watching them and I felt sorry for the family and friends that know them our prays goes to the family and friends that know the young child. Kymberli Lashai Jones added: So horrible! Regardless of whether it was the child or another one, they should have been watched! I feel for this family and pray there wasn’t any mess going on.