Most parents would probably agree that finger pinches are among the most common childhood injuries. Although not life threatening, a pinched finger can be very painful and serious enough for a visit to the emergency room. In some cases, tiny fingers can even be broken. Unfortunately, this type of injury can be difficult to prevent because the typical home is brimming with potential trouble spots. In addition to constant vigilance, these precautions can help to prevent painful finger pinches:
Prevent bedroom and bathroom doors from slamming on fingers with inexpensive U shaped pinch-guards, made of soft cushioned material that can be slipped onto the door edge just above the child’s reach. As an alternative, drape a towel over the door to prevent it from closing all the way.
Watch for children’s fingers between the hinged side of a door and the doorframe before closing it. Don’t assume children know that this is a dangerous place for fingers.
Bi-fold closet doors and room dividers can be prevented from folding on little fingers with safety devices that fit on the top of the doors. To keep the doors closed, slide the device over the hinged area. Another idea is to insert a nail on each side along the track to prevent the doors from closing, at least until children are old enough to watch their fingers.
Cabinets and drawers should be secured tightly with child safety locks. Do not use spring-type latches on cabinets or drawers that can be reached by very small children. These latches are designed to allow the cabinet or drawer open slightly for an adult to release the latch. While preventing toddlers from pulling them all the way open, their fingers can reach into the opening and be pinched if they fall or lean against the cabinet or drawer.
Keep toilet lids down with toilet lids locks, which not only will keep children from playing in the water, but will also prevent the lid from slamming down fingers.
Toy boxes and storage chests should be open, or have removable lids. A hinged lid should be light-weight, and spring-loaded to keep it securely opened. Edges should be smooth and recessed or cushioned, and there should be plenty of clearance along the hinge line.
Examine strollers, high chairs, swings, and other furnishings for exposed mechanisms that can pinch fingers. Make sure latches are securely locked. The best designs provide plastic covers over any pivotal or hinged apparatus.
Make sure your child’s toys are safe and age appropriate. Children can insert tiny fingers into spaces and crevices, or pinch fingers in toys that are intended for older children. Poorly designed toys incorporating spinning wheels and one-way moving parts can trap little fingers.
The best preventive is, of course, always knowing your child’s whereabouts and what he or she is up to. Even with the best vigilance, however, accidents do happen. Ultimately, most young children learn from experience how to avoid painful pinched fingers.The best preventive