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Finger-Trapping Accidents of 2019

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It is something which is often overlooked when it comes to safety inspections – but it shouldn’t be ignored.

Young children are the most at risk of finger-trapping accidents which can often result in fingers being severed, life-long damage and limitations, expensive medical bills for the family and legal action taken against the school or child care center.

Last year, we reported on numerous different incidents which saw children as young as two years of age and as old as eleven trapping their fingers in unprotected doors.

These accidents could have all been easily prevented with the use of door finger guards and door stoppers – but it is up to the facility managers and directors to ensure that these measures are in place in the first place. Prevention is always better than cure – which is why we’re highlighting just some of the finger-trapping accidents of 2019 to bring more awareness to door safety in 2020…

January 2019 – 2-Year-Old Boy Loses Fingertip at Westchester Child Care Center

A 2-year-old boy lost his fingertip after his finger got caught in a closing door at his daycare. The incident occurred whilst a teacher was trying to prevent another child from entering the elevator alone. The boy’s parents were working in Manhattan at the time of the incident and were not informed of the severity of the incident by the daycare, suspecting a minor injury and asking the boys grandparents to pick him up. Whilst in the car, the paper towel covering the boys wound came off and the boy’s grandma saw the missing fingertip and exposed bone.

The boy was then rushed to White Plains Hospital – whilst the grandpa rushed back to the daycare to find the missing fingertip which daycare workers had put in a paper towel in the office. A hand surgeon was able to reattach the finger under general anesthesia. Following the incident, the daycare centers license was suspended.

An image of the door where the accident occurred was obtained by CBS. There were no door finger hinge guards in place.

February 2019 – School District Pays $65,000 to 11-Year-Old Student who Severed Finger in Door

An 11-Year-Old boy was offered a settlement from his school district following a finger-trapping accident at Whitford Middle School. The sixth-grade student’s fingertip was severed by the double doors of the school’s gym during recess. The injury left his family with Medicaid-related expenses of $7,500. The school district offered to pay the sum of $65,000 to settle the case and avoid the possibility of a lawsuit.

February 2019 – School District Sued after 6-Year-Old Boy’s Finger Severed in Door

The family of a 6-year-old boy sued his school district after his pinkie finger was cut off by a closing door. The boy was standing in line in his classroom at Scribner Elementary School when the teacher closed the door with the boy’s little finger in the door frame – resulting in half the finger being cut off. Doctors were unable to re-attach the finger. The family’s lawyer said: “When you send your kid to school, you don’t expect him to come home missing half a finger”.

When reporting on finger-trapping accidents, many schools or media outlets describe them as ‘freak accidents’, however, reports show that 600,000 injuries resulting from fingers getting caught in doors occurred between 1999 and 2008 – leading to more than 67,000 amputations. An additional 580,000 injuries were caused by impact with a door or hinge.

Research also shows that finger-trapping accidents lead to a 20% of hand strength with 1 in 6 injuries resulting in amputation.

Many child care centers will also claim that doorways are monitored at all times, therefore, the chance of a child trapping their fingers in a door is not possible, however, this method of ‘safeguarding’ is hardly practical nor does it guarantee a finger-trapping accident won’t occur.

Does your school or child care center have safety measures in place that will prevent the children in your care from trapping their fingers in your doors? If not, talk to us today about the products available to improve your door safety on (904) 962-2688.

Sources: Oregon Live, Democrat and Chronicle, Lohud, CBS New York.