Preschool-age child is found dead inside a running washing machine – as mourners arrive at scene of the tragedy
- Small child died after being found inside a front-load washing machine in NZ
- The washing machine had been turned on
- The unresponsive child was taken to hospital where they later died
A small child has died after being found unresponsive in a front-loading washing machine that had been turned on.
The terrible tragedy unfolded in Christchurch, New Zealand, where police were called to the outer suburb of Hoon Hay about 5pm on Friday.
‘One person was injured and taken to hospital where they later died,’ a police spokesperson said.
A small child has died after being found unresponsive in a front-loading washing machine in Christchurch, NZ. Washing machines are dangerous for small children (stock image)
‘Police are making enquiries into the circumstances of the death and the coroner has been informed.’
The child’s death is not being treated as suspicious.
A large group of mourners gathered at the home on Sunday to farewell the pre-school aged child.
Experts have warned of the dangers of front-loading washing machines to curious small children who may climb inside to explore.
Once inside they may become trapped and suffocate, or an adult may start a cycle not knowing the child is inside.
In 2019, a three-year-old boy died in a front-loading washing machine in Orlando, Florida, USA.
The boy climbed inside while playing with his sibling when the door closed, trapping him inside where he suffocated.
In 2012, a 21-month-old boy died in hospital after 24 hours on life support in Oregon, USA. He had fallen inside the washing machine during laundry day where he drowned.
New Zealand police were called to Hoon Hay, Christchurch on Friday about 5pm (stock image)
In 2010, a 10-day old baby girl died after her mother accidentally put her in a top-loading washing machine with the laundry.
Since 2014 in the US, there have been an estimated 3000 children aged under five who have gone to hospital emergency rooms to be treated for washing machine related injuries, according to the US-based Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Most of the injuries were related to falls.
Fortunately, deaths are relatively rare with the Consumer Products Safety Commission reporting that just two children under the age of five died in washing machines between 2005 and 2009.
How to keep small children safe from washing machines
Lock up the laundry room
Keep the washing machine door shut
Engage the child safety lock feature (if your model has one)
Use a childproof safety lock (external)
Shut off the water valve that feeds the washing machine when not in use
Keep laundry pods out of reach so children don’t eat them
Source: US-based non-profit consumer organisation Consumer Reports