The home is known to be one of the common locations of unintentional fatal injuries. The rates for injuries taking place in the home are highest among young children compared to other age groups. This stage of physical development makes children vulnerable to fatal injuries at home. They easily get injured while engaging in normal exploratory behaviors as they don’t have the judgment to avoid dangers. They usually experience more home injuries, partially because they spend more time in the home compared to children of other age groups who spend large amounts of time at school.
Doors, hinges and jammed finger injuries
- Children under the age of five years are at risk of getting fingers jammed and getting injured.
- Jammed fingers in doors and hinges can cause crushed, fractured, and even severed (cut-off) fingers.
- The side of the door with hinges usually causes the worst injuries. Also, children tend to hurt themselves often in the opening or handle side of the door.
- Jammed finger injuries sometimes involve another person, especially another child. When siblings are playing with each other and they try to close the door on each other, usually one of them ends up with a finger jammed in the door.
Finger protection strips and door guards
- Finger protection strips can help in preventing such injuries. These are long flexible strips that you can install along the length of a door’s hinge side. When these strips are installed, children cannot put their fingers in the hinge side of the door.
- You can find these products at child safety centers or local hardware shops.
- You can also request your child’s kindergarten, child care center about putting finger protection strips.
- For preventing finger jams on the handle side of the door, you can use simple and cheap door guards. These guards are U-shaped, soft, flexible pieces of foam that clip onto the top or side edge of the door and prevent it from shutting down fully.
More ways to prevent jammed finger injuries from doors and hinges
Here is the list of some more ideas to help stop little fingers and hands getting jammed in doors and other places.
- Keep a check on your child’s hands that they are well out of the way before opening and closing doors, including car doors.
- Before closing windows in the car, check that your child’s fingers aren’t in the way.
- Teach your child not to slam doors and not to play around them as it can hurt them.
- Teach them to keep their fingers away from the hinge side of doors.
- You can consider draping a towel over the top of doors to keep them from shutting.
- You can place a wedge under the doors to prevent them from closing on their own.
- Consider using doorstops to keep doors open and prevent them from slamming shut.
- Doorstops and weighted closing systems prevent doors from slamming suddenly.
- Install slow-release rather than spring-operated door closers to help to prevent door slamming.
- Home safety checklist: Are Children Safe in Your Home?[Internet]. Available at: http://www.ndhealth.gov/injury/publications/home_safety.pdf. Accessed on Oct 21. 2020.
- Safety around doors and hinges[Internet]. Available at: https://raisingchildren.net.au/toddlers/safety/home-pets/doors-hinges. Accessed on Aug 31, 2020.