Recently, a 2-year-old boy lost his fingertip in a door whilst at daycare. A surgeon was luckily able to re-attach the severed fingertip under general anaesthesia. Since the incident, however, the daycare’s license was suspended. No door finger guards were installed at the time of the accident.
A door-related injury occurs every four minutes in the US. The vast majority of finger-trapping accidents are completely preventable with the door finger guards in place – but in the unfortunate event that one of these distressing accidents does occur, it is important to know what steps to take to help the injured child as effectively and efficiently as possible.
In the most extreme circumstances, a child trapping their finger in a door can cause the finger or fingertip to sever. Emergency treatment must be sought immediately.
When a finger is severed, the most important thing is to find the severed digit as quickly as possible. Once the digit is found, it is important to wash the finger or tip with water or sterile saline then cover it in damp gauze wrap or a clean damp cloth. The finger should then be put in a clean, waterproof bag and placed onto ice or a frozen bag of food.
If more than one finger is severed, these must be put into separate clean bags to prevent infection and further damage.
It is important to keep the severed digit cold without setting it directly on ice. This must be taken to the emergency room with the child in the hopes that surgeons will be able to re-attach it.
Breaks and Fractures
In most finger-trapping accidents, the injury caused will result in a broken finger. In the worst examples, this can easily be identified as the broken bone pierces the skin or the finger will look deformed or bruised.
If you suspect the finger is broken or dislocated, you should go to the emergency room.
Breaks and fractures are extremely painful so the injured area should be handled delicately, but it is important to note that if the bone is protruding the skin, the injury should not be handled by anyone other than a doctor in order to avoid the risk of sustaining any further damage.
On the way to the emergency room, there are a couple of things that can be done to help, such as making a temporary splint using, for example, a pencil or a clean popsicle stick and strapping the makeshift splint to the finger to stabilise it. Swelling and pain can also be reduced by applying ice wrapped in a tea towel to the injured area.
Most broken fingers and fractures take around six weeks to fully repair.
Sprains and Strains
It is always best to consult a professional in the case of a finger-trapping accident to confirm whether a finger is broken or just sprained, however, if the injury is a sprain, movement of the finger will be possible (although painful) and the finger shouldn’t be visibly deformed.
In this case, it is best again to indirectly apply ice (wrapped in a cloth or tea towel) to help reduce the pain and swelling, as week as to avoid using the injured finger.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
Most finger-trapping accidents that occur can be prevented with the use of door finger guards on the front and back hinge side of the door as well as the use of door stoppers to prevent door slam injuries on the handle side of the door.
At Fingershield™ LLC, we have been specialising in preventing finger-trapping accidents for 20 years. Our door safety range is installed in child care centers, schools. hospitals, YMCAs, churches, restaurants, retail premises and more across the US.
Our Fingershield™ door finger guards come with a FREE 10-Year warranty for quality assurance guaranteed.
Make the change to Fingershield™ today and prevent having to use the finger-trapping injury knowledge above.
If you would like to find out more about our door safety range, please call us on (904) 962-2688 or send us an email.
Sources: Healthline. Cardea Solutions.