An Oregon mother is encouraging fellow parents to think outside the box when it comes to possible safety hazards after her young son took an 8-foot tumble down an open heating vent.
Saydie Reedy was doing dishes at home in Coburg near her sons Jackson, 3, and Kolson, 10 months, when Jackson pulled the gate off a heating vent thanks to a loose screw, she wrote in a Facebook comment.
“My 10-month-old fell into it and fell 8 feet under the house,” Reedy wrote. “It was a team effort by Coburg Fire Department and Coburg Police, but this is the man that pulled my little chubbs out of the vent.”
The relieved mom then shared a photo of a smiling Officer Kevin Wilson holding her rescued son in his arms.
Reedy told Good Morning America that she was alerted to the scary moment after Jackson came over to her as she washed dishes and repeatedly said, “Baby in,” as he pointed to the vent.
“I didn’t think I had to worry about the vents,” she told the outlet. “There’s other dangers in the world to worry about, I thought, than heating vents.”
Still, it turned out that the vent hadn’t been properly screwed in, as the 1920s-era home was undergoing renovations, making it easily accessible for her young sons to fiddle with.
“I couldn’t even fathom that my baby was down a vent. I never even thought of that,” she said.
Reedy quickly called police to help rescue her son, who was eventually found in a crawl space underneath the home.
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“I crawled about 15 to 20 feet back to where the heat register was and I could hear him crying. I cut the strap that was holding the heat tube and kind of accordioned it all the way to him and grabbed his arm,” Wilson told GMA. “As soon as I grabbed his arm he stopped crying and then he just looked at me like, ‘What are you doing here?’”
Luckily, little Kolson emerged “unfazed,” according to Reedy, who wrote in a Facebook comment that her son was “totally unharmed” after the incident, save for a few minor scratches.
To make clear her thanks to Wilson and his fellow officers, Reedy brought Kolson in to the Coburg Police Department for a visit, a reunion Wilson said was “really emotional.”
“I think afterwards you look back and think, ‘Was it really that bad?’ and then you think it through and it was bad and could have been way worse. The reality of what you did kind of hits you,” Wilson told GMA. “The very thing you’re thinking a kid would never do, they’ll do. You have to think the way they’d be thinking and think of the things their fingers can get on.”