Parents rescue daughter trapped inside washing machine

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(KAKE) -

A Kansas native and her husband share their heart-stopping nightmare: discovering their 3-year-old daughter is trapped inside a washing machine filling with water.

They are urging other parents to check the child safety settings of their washers, after their story is going viral.

Lindsey and Allan McIver said they were woken up early on the morning of July 10 by the tears of their 4-year-old son.

Lindsey, who grew up in Sylvan Grove, Kan., describes the chilling moment.

“He was crying so hard I couldn't understand the words he was saying,” Lindsey told ABC’s Good Morning America. “It was then that the realization hit. He had said, ‘Khloe inside washer.’”

RUSH TO RESCUE DAUGHTER

Alan rushed to the family’s basement laundry room, where he saw their 3-year-old daughter, Khloe, locked inside the washing machine as it tumbled and filled with water.

“I could tell she was screaming, but the machine's airtight,” Alan recalled. “I yanked on the door. I pulled so hard I moved the machine from the wall, but it's locked. You can't get it opened."

The couple, parents of three children, was able to stop the washing machine, which they had installed just days earlier in their Conifer, Colo., home. They were able to pull Khloe to safety.

She emerged only with minor scrapes and bruises.

“I pulled her outside of it and got the best hug in the world from her,” said Alan. “She was out and was crying, but safe."Though initially hesitant to do so,

Lindsey shared the story on Facebook in a post that now has hundreds of thousands and shares and likes. She worried how people would treat them when sharing the post, but overall, comments have been positive.

HOW TO PREVENT TRAGEDY

Washing machine accidents are common. Consumer Reports says that more than 2,000 children are seriously injured by the devices each year.

Lane Cummins owns Mr. Appliance, a service center in Park City, Kan. He says there are several things parents must do to prevent tragedies.

“Kids, if there's something to get into, they're going to try,” he said. “Keep them out of it, strapping the door down putting the door on the laundry room, putting a child gate up, throwing the breaker.”

Once a machine is running, it often will often lock the door to the unit. This feature was created years ago because people would put their hands into a running unit and get hurt, Cummins said. If it was in a spin cycle, some could get serious injuries.

Cummins said people should be familiar with their washer and dryer emergency settings. Newer units may have a child safety setting, as well, and it can be a life saver. However, when canceling or stopping a wash, it can take a while to open up.

No matter what, Cummins said do not unplug the unit.

“If you unplug that machine, on many of these machines while it's locked, the door's not going to unlock,” he said. “It's going to sit there and stay closed.”

In addition to these practices, Cummins said it’s good to practice what the McIvers did: have a conversation with your children about the importance of safety – and – getting help when something goes wrong.

*Good Morning America contributed to this report