A father has told how the family’s pet dog saved his son after he became trapped in a tumble dryer.
Riley Gedge-Duffy, five, suffered burns to his arms, back and head when the machine automatically started with him inside it.
Aaron Duffy said that his wife only realised something was wrong when their dog Teddy, a cockapoo, began to bark.
“My son Riley trapped himself inside the tumble dryer and when he closed the door the dryer automatically started,” Mr Duffy said.
“My wife was upstairs vacuuming, my other son was watching TV and the dog alerted my wife that something was up.They went downstairs and he was going round and round the tumble dryer.”
The accident happened at the family home in Bangor, Co Down, on Sunday.
Riley, who has Down’s syndrome, was rushed to the Ulster Hospital, Dundonald, and was still receiving treatment yesterday.
A hospital spokeswoman said he was “comfortable”.
Mr Duffy thanked ambulance and medical staff for their swift response on Northern Ireland’s U105 radio station on Monday.
“Riley was born with Down’s syndrome so he likes to take himself off and do his own thing,” he said.
“He is a loveable wee character, does his own thing and is always smiling.
“He is forever hiding in the wardrobe or he has often taken himself off into the dog run in the garden to hide. But what concerns me was the tumble dryer — our one, when you close the door it automatically goes. I just want to make other families with young children aware of what can happen.
“The ambulance driver said normally children would suffocate and die. Only for the dog reacting, my wife would not have known something was up.”
It is the second time that Teddy has raised the alarm in the past two months after he alerted the family to a phone charger catching fire.
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service described the incident as “horrific” in a Facebook post and said that crews were on the scene within six minutes.
“Today Riley is back to his old self and we will maybe get him a wee visit to the station next week,” the statement said.