Leaving children unattended can quickly turn dangerous - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Leaving children unattended can quickly turn dangerous

By Lori Brown - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - After a three-year-old boy died in a fire when his mother left him and his little brother home alone, we wanted to know how the average toddler would react to a similar situation.

Consider our experience Tuesday with 19-month-old David Tinsley, two-year-old Elly Marta Schmit and 15-month-old Ruthy Schmit. Despite their small sizes, it didn't take them long to get into what could have been big trouble.

We and their parents watched them at a distance to see what they would try to get into. First, two-year-old Elly Marta got herself into a what could have been a dangerous situation when she climbed up onto a piano.

Then it was onto the kitchen. In a matter of seconds the toddlers were getting into the cabinets.

Ruthy pulled out and managed to open the lid to dishwashing soap. Fortunately the lid was closed when she attempted to drink it.

Then Elly Marta managed to open a back door all by herself, and let the dog in. Then it was onto the dishwasher, and and the silverware drawer. Elly Marta pulled out a spoon, but it could have been a knife.

"I couldn't believe she was trying to open the door, she let the dogs in," Jessica Tinsley, the mother of 19-month-old David said. "She could had let a little sister or little brother outside."

Tinsley said it's hard for her to understand how a mother could leave her children alone at home for any length of time.

"My biggest struggle is when do I take a shower because David is with me at all times," she said.

Which is a good thing, knowing how quickly what a toddler thinks is fun can turn into a dangerous situation. Statistics show the leading cause of death in kids 14 years old and younger is unintentional accidents.

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