ABluffmother spent a frantic tenminutes trying to free her screamingtoddler from a publictoilet,
after the autisticboy was trappedinside and drenched with detergent and water during a wash cycle.
JessieWakelin was walking with her children in Stirling Point,
Bluff, when 3-year-oldZachery ran ahead
into an Exeloo
owned by Invercargill CityCouncil.
watched horrified as the doors shut on her son without warning, and an electronic voicewarned a self-clean
cycle was about to
crowd of 20people
attempted to rescue the boy, even trying to break down the metal door, as Zachery pressed the
door release button to no effect.
"Because he was
screaming, I didn't know whether it was hot water … It was horrible, really
horrible," Ms Wakelin told FairfaxNZ.
He remained trapped for twowashcycles,
and was soaked, cold and visibly shaken by the time the doors opened and he was
MsWakelin said, Zachery has refused to go to the toilet by himself
since the ordeal, despite being toilet-trainedforover
The bathroom is fitted with a
motion sensor to ensure people are not inside when washcycles begin, but councilbuildingassetsmanagerPaulHorner
admits the sensor may need to be recalibrated.
The council had not
encountered any problems of this kind before, he said.
mother, ten minutes, screaming toddler, public toilet, autistic boy,trapped inside, wash cycle, Jessie Wakelin, 3-year-old Zachery,Exeloo , Invercargill City Council,Ms Wakelin electronic voice, self – clean
cycle ,20people, Zachery, Ms Wakelin, ,Fairfax NZ, Zachery, two wash
cycles , Ms Wakelin, Zachery, toilet-trained for over a year wash cycles, council building assets manager
Paul Horner, contactor will look into
the issue on Monday
My Own Words:
bluff mother spent ten minutes trying to help her screaming toddler in a public
toilet. The autistic boy was trapped inside and wet during the wash cycle.
Jessie Wakelin was walking with her three children when suddenly three year old
autistic Zachery ran towards the exeloo which was owned by Invercargill city
council. Ms Wakelin (Zachery’s mother) watched in horror while an electronic voice warned everyone who was there, that a
self - clean cycle was about to begin.
20 people tried rescuing Zachery by breaking
the metal door down but it didn’t work. The reporter didn’t know if the water
was hot because, Zachery was crying.Mom
quoted to the Fairfax NZ “horrifying just horrifying!” Zachery was kept inside
locked until the two wash cycles finished. Ms Wakelin believed that Zachery didn’t
want to go to a toilet ever again by himself, even though he has been toilet
trained for over a year. The bathroom is now filled with motion sensor, to make
sure that people won’t be inside during the wash cycle. But council building
assets manager Paul Horner admits that the sensor should be re-adjusted.
I think this issue is very serious and sad.
I feel sorry for Zachery Wakelin because he’s autistic and cannot take care of himself
well. His mom should be more careful not to let him out of her sight. Safety
measure (motion sensor) should also be put in place to prevent such incidents.