Avoid Trapped Fingers for Children: The Danger Zones
Playful, adventurous, inquisitive, and bursting with energy – children are fearless explorers. Unfortunately, this same zest for life can easily result in accidents. One of the most common injuries reported in schools is that of small fingers being trapped in doors. While the exact numbers vary by source, by the most conservative estimate thousands of children injure their fingers at school every year.
These injuries are not limited to babies and toddlers; studies show trapped fingers occur at about the same rate for 0-4 years, 5-9 years, and 10-13 years. With little ones, their small stature, developing motor skills and natural curiosity can lead to risky situations.
When children are a bit older, the combination of pent-up energy from sitting still and their sense of bravado can lead to horseplay or recklessness, increasing the likelihood of an accident.
No matter the age, a trapped finger can be very painful and frightening for the child – and a stressful experience for the caregiver or teacher, too.The good news is, many such accidents can be prevented through awareness and through the installation of protective finger guards on doors.
With that in mind, we offer some tips for situations when children are most at risk for trapping their fingers.
Any time children are required to queue up by a door – to go to assembly, lunch, etc. – should be considered a risky time. Inevitably, there will be fidgeting, jostling, or some sort of game near or involving the door. Whatever the scenario, the chances are that a child will lean on the door and not be focused on where their fingers are.
TOP TIP: If possible, form queues in the middle of the room, away from door hinges.
It goes without saying that playtime is everyone’s favourite part of the day. Free to run about, without as many rules, children are full of adrenaline and thoroughly immersed in play. Games of ‘chase’ where the door is the ‘base’ should raise warning bells, as well as any activity that involves grabbing onto or swinging from the doors.
TOP TIP: Playtime assistants should move ‘bases’ or other activities away from all doors.
When children go to the bathrooms in pairs, there’s double the opportunity for mischief. Whilst standing still and waiting in corridors or bathrooms, children often treat the doors like playground equipment to be swung or hung off. Away from the watchful eyes of teachers, they may be even less cautious than usual.
TOP TIP: Try to limit bathroom visits to one child at a time.
At Cardea Solutions, we share your concern for the safety and well-being of the children in your charge. We’ve been making the Fingershield protective device for doors since 1999, and it’s now fitted in over 10,000 schools and nurseries throughout the U.K.