2-Year-Old Dies After Climbing Inside Clothes Dryer While Mom Slept

Exterior shot of home where the toddler girl died
First Coast News/YouTube

An accident in Georgia has left an entire community grieving the loss of a 2-year-old girl, who died after climbing inside a clothes dryer that shut behind her. The little girl, who has not been identified, was found unresponsive inside the dryer Sunday by her mother, according to First Coast News. 

  • First responders rushed to the home, which is in a trailer park in Waycross, Georgia, but the toddler could not be saved.

    A preliminary autopsy has revealed that the little girl died of overheating, though it has not been made clear whether the dryer had turned on. First Coast News also reports that she climbed inside the dryer drawer, which actually sits beneath the dryer itself in many new dryers.

    Needless to say, her mother (who has also not been named publicly) is beside herself with grief, as she was reportedly asleep when the little girl climbed inside the appliance.

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  • No arrests have been made, though the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is still looking into the case. Neighbors remain shocked and saddened by the news.

    “It was crazy. Nobody knew what was going on, no details,” neighbor David Williams told News4GA. “It’s just an awful tragedy you know. She’s a good girl. She's a good mom.”

    The neighbor added that from everything he saw, the toddler’s mother was a good and responsible mother.

    “She takes care of her kid. She goes to work,” Williams shared. “She does the right thing, and for something like this to happen in our neighborhood is just awful.”

  • As tragic as this story is, it's not the first time an accident of this kind has happened.

    In April 2018, 10-year-old Fernando Hernandez Jr. also lost his life when he hid inside a clothes dryer during a game of hide and seek. His friends found the Houston third-grader some time after, though it was too late -- by then, the boy had been electrocuted.

    But his death wasn't the first, and sadly, it wouldn't be the last.

    In fact, the US Consumer Products and Safety Commission issued a safety alert last year about the safety concerns when it comes to children becoming trapped inside freezers, dryers, coolers, and refrigerators.

    The alert came after many reports were issued to the safety commission, specifically about latch-type appliances. Most of the victims were just 4 to 7 years old, and in all cases, the safety commission reports, the doors on the appliances "could not be easily pushed open from the inside." In cases involving dryers, many were accidentally turned on while the children were still inside. 

  • Although incidents like these are still rare, near-fatal mishaps happen all the time. In fact, one mom's terrifying close call went viral just last year.

    In a now-viral Facebook post, Lindsey McIver shared the harrowing story of the morning her 4-year-old woke her from a sound sleep to inform her that his little sister had gotten locked inside the washing machine.

    "She was screaming but you couldn’t hear her," McIver wrote, of the moment she found her daughter Kloe locked inside the airtight washer, as it began filling with water. "We were able to quickly stop it and unlock the door and get her out," she wrote. "After going through all the 'what if‘s' and 'could have’s' we know we are very blessed and God had mercy on our sweet daughter."

    McIver was lucky, but as this story out of Georgia shows, not all parents can say the same. The Consumer Products and Safety Commission urges parents to put child-proof locks on washers, dryers, freezers, and other similar appliances that could lead to entrapment. Whenever possible, keeping appliances in utility closets -- behind locked doors -- is advised, and conducting safety talks with kids is also highly encouraged.