Child Safety Fail: My Son Got Stuck in a Tire Wheel Well!


We share a lot of parenting tips about child safety on OurFamilyWorld because we want to make sure every family has all the tools they need to keep their children as safe and healthy as possible. That doesn’t make us perfect though. Today, I’m going to tell you about my biggest child safety fail to date. Don’t worry, it has a happy ending. It could have turned out much differently, though!

Consider it a cautionary tale, if you will. Or, if you’re having a bad mommy guilt day because your baby fell down when you turned your head for a moment, you can look at this and say “well, gee, at least I didn’t do that!”

Child Safety Fail: My Son Got Stuck in a Tire Wheel Well

It was a dark and stormy night…wrong story. It was actually a bright and sunny day. My son, Jacob, was three and totally into Spiderman. My mom, Jacob and I were all outside. I was sitting on the porch. My mom was raking leaves and Jacob was playing in the driveway near her. I was watching him play and flipping through a magazine. Probably looking for craft ideas that I’d never actually make. I love looking at crafts, I just don’t actually do well with the execution.

My mom has a Subaru Forester SUV. Before I looked down, Jacob was no where near it. I glanced down for all of 30 seconds. When I looked up, he was climbing up the side of her car. As I ran over to get him down, his foot reached the tire and slid. His leg went into the tire well. I obviously didn’t take a picture because, hello, emergency, so I pieced together this handy (albeit not entirely accurate) graphic to sort of demonstrate what I’m talking about.

Child Safety Fail: My Son Got Stuck in a Tire Well

Now, when I say he got stuck, I mean he got REALLY stuck. His leg was totally jammed in there. We couldn’t get him out on our own, so I called 911. Meanwhile, I held him up so his leg wouldn’t slide into an even more unnatural position. He wasn’t screaming, so I assumed at that point nothing was broken. He was just freaked out. I was freaked out. My mom was freaked out. The EMTs were, well, they were awesome…and a little perplexed.

They tried getting him out without popping the tire first. No luck. They let the air out of the tire. He was STILL stuck. They had to take the entire thing off, rim and all. Finally, Jake was free! We took a ride in the ambulance to have him checked out at the hospital, but aside from a little grease on his pants, he was absolutely fine. One of the EMTs even stayed behind to help my mom put the spare tire on so she could come get us.

What did I learn from this experience? For one thing, I watched Jacob like a hawk when we were out front. Even a non-moving vehicle can be dangerous, especially when your son thinks he’s Spiderman. I also learned that when you’re watching a three-year-old, 30 seconds is more than enough time to get into major mischief. Finally, I learned that no parent is perfect. Every single one of us will have at least one child safety fail at some point in our lives. I told you mine so you don’t judge your own so harshly.

What is your biggest child safety fail? Or, if you’re not comfortable sharing, go ahead and tell me what you think of mine. I can take it! 

Follow OurFamilyWorld Magazine’s board Parenting Tips I wish I knew on Pinterest.

4 thoughts on “Child Safety Fail: My Son Got Stuck in a Tire Wheel Well!”

  1. I’m glad everything turned out okay. I must say that I don’t see that as a child safetly fail. Just a mischievous, energetic Spiderman…uumm, little boy. You didn’t fail in giving him a safe environment to play. He just tried something he shouldn’t have. God bless you and Spiderman!

  2. How scary! I think my biggest fail – there were so many when my kids were little – was when my youngest rolled off the couch. He was 6 months old and I had my hand on him, but I wasn’t paying attention. He threw himself off and landed on the floor. Luckily he was fine.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *