How to Prevent Injuries to Little Fingers by Keeping Them Out of Doorways
One of the things that some parents and caregivers tend to overlook when babyproofing or childproofing their homes is the fact that babies, toddlers, and even young elementary-aged children are injured every day when their fingers are caught in doorways. Below, you can learn more about how frequently this actually happens and what you can do to protect all the little fingers in your home.
The Surprising Numbers
Per information available from the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, the most common cause for finger amputations occurs when the finger is crushed or shut in a door. What’s more, more than 3000 of these amputations occur in children under the age of five, which is startling to many parents and caregivers. It’s also important to note that the majority of these finger injuries occurred at home. As you can see, severe finger injuries are quite common among young children, so doing what you can to prevent them is important.
Door Bumpers and Guards
By far the most popular way to prevent such injuries in your home involves investing in simple door bumpers that are designed to prevent the doors from closing all the way – even when significant force is applied. These bumpers may be made out of foam or gel-filled plastic, and they typically provide an inch or two of clearance that is plenty of space for a child’s fingers. These products have undoubtedly prevented many injuries, and they’re typically very affordable, too. Numerous companies make them, and they’re usually sold in sets to make it easy to protect all your home’s doors.
The Trouble with Bumpers
Though bumpers are undeniably the absolute best option for rooms in your home that are not off-limits to children, they aren’t the best idea for exterior doors, and when used in bathrooms or bedrooms, they must be removed if the rooms’ occupants want privacy. Some parents and caregivers don’t mind removing the bumpers when they go into their rooms or bathrooms, then replacing them upon exit, so if that works for you, it can offer up some added safety and peace of mind. However, there may be a better option – especially if you want to keep young children out of specific rooms altogether.
Sliding Magnetic Door Locks
If you aren’t excited about adding and removing bumpers to all the doors in your home, you might find that simply blocking access to your children altogether so that they can’t even open the door is a good option for you. There are many different kinds of child door locks, but a keyless magnetic option is safe, convenient, and simple. It involves installing a metal bolt in the doorframe, then using a magnet to move the bolt into the actual door when you want to lock the door and keep children out. It is up to the adults to make sure that little fingers are out of the way when they close the doors, but generally speaking, this option is much simpler than the constant shuffling of bumpers.
With more than 3000 serious injuries every single year, it’s clear that parents and caregivers should address the safety issues that can occur when kids open and close doors. Fortunately, there are several different ways to prevent finger injuries, so it’s easy to choose the one that works the best for your needs.