Children often cannot perceive danger until it is too late. Case in point, when one young boy wandered into the household dryer during a game of hide-and-seek, he was swiftly put in harms way as the machine turned itself on. Fortunately, tragedy was averted; the family's dedicated dog alerted the boy's mother to the emergency (video below).
Riley Gedge-Duffy, 5 at the time, was playing a game of hide-and-seek with his brother Freddie when he decided to climb up into the tumble dryer, Shareably reports.
To a child, a dryer makes perfect sense as a hiding place. Cozy and discreet, the machine would be an attractive spot to someone trying to stow away and hide. Riley had always been a dedicated hider according to his father, Aaron Duffy.
"Riley was born with Down's Syndrome, and he likes to take himself off and do his own thing," Aaron told the Belfast Telegraph. "He is a loveable wee character; does his own thing and is always smiling."
After Riley managed to climb inside of the dryer and close the door behind him, the machine's automatic cycle was triggered. He began to tumble around and was exposed to the heat.
Without immediate intervention, the situation would have ended tragically. A similar case occurred in 2010, when an English 4-year-old stowed away in a dryer during his own game of hide-and-seek. After family and authorities scoured the neighborhood for the missing boy, his mother found him dead in the machine, the Daily Mail reports.
"You read about these things happening, but this happened in our house, and I just want other parents to be aware," Aaron told The Guardian, noting that simply closing a dryer door can start its cycle.
Fortunately for Riley, the family dog, a cockapoo named Teddy, witnessed the boy get into the dryer and immediately ran for help. Riley's mother, Gillian Gedge-Duffy, overheard her scrappy pup barking up a storm while she was vacuuming.
"I was Hoovering at the time, and the dog came up and was going berserk and jumping around the place and actually running in and out of the room, wanting me to follow her," Gillian said.
Alerted that something was amiss, Gillian looked for Riley and eventually found him in the dryer.
"We suspect he was inside for a couple of minutes," Aaron said. "She pulled Riley out and started pouring cold water over him. ... It doesn't bear thinking about what might have happened if the dog had not been there."
Riley had suffered from several burns and a head injury, but his father noted that the boy "is in good enough form and is getting back to his old self."
Thanks to the loyal heroism of Teddy, Riley was saved from a horrible fate.
"She's a brilliant dog; it is amazing," Aaron said.