Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: Child falls on knife in open dishwasher and dies.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2003]
Origins: Though we've no clear notion who "Mary Leigh" or "Bryan's family" are or what their involvement was with this story, the gist of the message is factual: On
This tragedy serves as a sad reminder for the need to always load utensils into the dishwasher with their sharp ends pointing down. Forks, knives, scissors — all should be placed in the cutlery basket with their blades or tines down.
Although deaths in this manner are rare, there have been others. In 2001 a Vancouver man who collapsed from an undisclosed illness fell on sharp objects housed in an open dishwasher at his mother's home and expired of his wounds. In 1997, Mark Rockingham, a twelve-year-old British boy, died the same way Payton McElroy had — a play session ended with him falling onto a sharp knife in an open dishwasher, severing major arteries in his chest and puncturing one of his lungs.
One of our readers told us about his experience, which was quite similar to those described above, though he was fortunate enough to live through it:
[Collected via e-mail, 2006]Real incidents or not, the odds of a similar accident's taking the life of a child are so small that one needn't feel this is a warning that must be trumpeted as quickly and as widely as possible lest children's lives remain at risk. However, lesser injuries from
When I was 6 years old (now 23) my cousin had some of my toys and wouldn't give them to me. I ran into the kitchen and hit a wet spot and slipped and fell into the dishwasher my mother was unloading. When I came up there was a knife with a blade about 7 or
Barbara "mother load" Mikkelson
Last updated: 30 September 2006
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