A three year old boy has died after becoming locked inside a washing machine in northern Poland. The child was apparently playing a game of hide and seek with his sister when he crawled inside the bowl and the lock mechanism clicked into place. He was then trapped inside, and its thought he suffocated. His parents realised they could no longer hear the the children playing together and went to check on them, finding his sister alone and tearing through the house searching for the boy. The little boy, referred to only as Marcel, had locked himself in the washing machine inside the family bathroom and was in a critical condition. An ambulance was immediately called and he was rushed to hospital where paramedics worked on him.
Medics performed resuscitation for almost one and a half hours on the boy, before he was taken to a nearby hospital in a critical condition. Despite the best efforts of the medical team, he passed away six hours later in hospital surrounded by his family. Piotr Nierebiński, a district prosecutor described the tragedy as ‘an unfortunate accident’. An autopsy revealed the boy died from suffocation due to a lack of oxygen while trapped in the washing machine. Incidents such as this one are shockingly common and numbers of children and pets die every year from climbing inside washing machines and tumble dryers and either suffocating or having the appliances turn on without family realising they were stuck inside.
The 'WhiteGoodsHelp' website has a set of rules and advice for people who have children or pets who have played around inside of their appliances before:
"Don’t leave these appliances plugged in. Bear in mind that appliances left permanently plugged in (as many are) can be started up by children playing if one gets inside and another closes the door. When buying a new washing machine, some have child locks on the doors or electronic child locks that can disable the machine with a specific set of button presses (check your instruction book). So if you ever have children at your house you should consider making sure your new washing machine has a child safety lock – and make sure you always use it."
The website also advises that you should switch off the washing machine at the socket and always check the drum before throwing clothes inside and starting it up – pets can hide in washing machines too.