OKLAHOMA CITY – It was a parent’s worst nightmare when a toddler disappeared for over an hour at a birthday party before he was found stuck inside a prize machine.
It happened at Jump Zone when mother Destiny Low turned to talk to her 4-year-old daughter.
“I’m not the type of parent that ever thought I’d lose my kid in five seconds,” Low said.
But, when she turned back, 22-month-old Dawson had vanished.
Initially, Low said she wasn’t too alarmed, thinking perhaps he wandered into a bounce house with another kid. But, as the minutes ticked by and she couldn’t find the toddler wearing bright orange, she began to panic and called the police.
“It goes kind of numb, like you’re just like, this isn’t happening,” Low said.
The staff checked security cameras and could see he hadn’t been taken. He was somewhere inside the building.
“He’s hurt. He’s somewhere alone and hurt, and that is absolutely terrifying,” Low said.
It wasn’t until the staff turned off the air pumps that they got a break.
“So, once the blowers went off in there, it got quieter, and I’m told a little girl started putting quarters in that machine and heard him crying,” Low said.
He was stuck inside a prize machine, behind a door they couldn’t see through and didn’t open outward.
After some effort, they were able to pull Dawson to safety. Low said Dawson was lethargic and sweaty because the machine he was in filled with light bulbs.
EMSA crews treated him immediately.
“He quickly responded to just the outside environment where we put him to cool down,” said Colin Roy with EMSA.
Now, Low said she hopes the makers of the machines Dawson got stuck in will rethink the design to prevent this from happening to anyone else.