Mom whose toddler was locked in filling washing machine: 'We were sick to our stomachs'

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The Colorado family whose toddler was locked in a front-loading washing machine as it filled with water shared more details of their harrowing ordeal with USA TODAY Monday and said they plan to contact the machine's manufacturer and return it for a top loader.

"We don't want to slander the company," mother Jennifer McIver told All the Moms. "But at some point, we'd like to propose they add a feature so the door locks."

LG, the company that makes the machine, did not respond when asked about adding a door lock, but in a release to All the Moms pointed to a feature that allows the door from being opened once a button is pushed and the machine is started. 

McIver wants a permanent lock on the door before the washing machine is started. 

"We applaud Ms. McIver for telling her story and share in her efforts to make sure that consumers are aware of the child safety lock feature available on LG washing machines and dryers. We encourage people to use this important safety setting and to contact our customer support team if they need any assistance. (LG customer support can be reached 1 (800) 243-0000)."

'She was screaming'

On Monday, McIver revealed more details of the horrifying experience. 

She originally shared the story on Facebook. It has since gone viral with more than 266,000 shares. 

McIver said she was awakened by her crying 4-year-old around 7 a.m. Her children usually wake up before their parents, play a while and then come get them. Father Alan McIver caught the words, "Kloe, inside, washer," and ran to the basement.

McIver guessed Kloe, 3, was in the washer for about two minutes. And she escaped with just some bumps to the head.

"We think that our 4-year-old would have only had time to shut the door behind him, push start and then come right to us," she said, adding that the washer had maybe two cups of water in it. "Not enough that she could have drowned," McIver said, but she added that her daughter was tumbling around and was clearly terrified.

"She was screaming. It was airtight, and it was soundproof. But you could see it and hear these muffled sounds as you stood right next to it." 

Jennifer McIver said she was originally hesitant to share her story for fear of mom-shaming, but she's managed to avoid that by avoiding comments on her Facebook post. 

She stands by her closing thoughts on the post that "we need to be open and honest about our mistakes to help one another keep our kids safe."   

Taking the machine back 

The McIvers, of Conifer, Colo., plan on exchanging the front-loading machine they got at Lowe's for a top loader.

While the McIvers added their own external child-safety lock to the front of the washing machine, Jennifer McIver said she would rather not look at it sitting in the basement after what happened to her daughter.

"We were sick to our stomachs for the rest of the day — a couple of days, actually," she said.

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