Authorities say a father's prank at a southern New Jersey laundry nearly turned tragic when his toddler son briefly got stuck inside an active washing machine.

Now, they're hoping to identify and locate the family. They say the matter isn't considered criminal, but they want to ensure that the child wasn't harmed.

The May 11 incident at the Camden business was captured on a surveillance video, which drew millions of hits after being posted on YouTube and other Internet sites.

The laundry's owner says the father was playing "peek-a-boo" with the child and put him in the machine as a joke. When he shut the door, it locked and started an automatic cycle.

After a few frantic seconds, a worker stopped the machine and freed the child, who didn't appear to be hurt.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)