As we start to get our SoftSlam USA website up and running with content to inform our potential customers, I started researching statistics for the USA. They were even more shocking than the statistics for New Zealand. Here is an exerpt:
It has been reported that according to the National Safety Council—Injury Facts 2011 Edition; U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, that approximately 380,800 door related injuries occur in the United States every year. Door related injuries occur at a rate of 31,000 month, 1,000 every day, 42 every hour and 1 every 1.4 minutes. According to one study; Clinical Pediatric Study: “Children Treated in the United States Emergency Departments for Door-related Injuries, 1999-2008”, approximately eighty percent of door-related injuries occur to children in the home and approximately forty two percent of these children were under the age of four. Thousands of children every year are sent to the hospital with fractures, crushed and pulverized tissue or broken bones because portions of fingers and hands were caught in slamming doors.
These statistics are in spite of the recommendations in the US that all hinged doors at day cares to be protected so that the children cannot get their fingers caught in the doors:
Standard 5.017 - Finger- Pinch Protection Devices - Finger-pinch protection devices shall be installed wherever doors are accessible to children..."
10.1.17" It is essential that children's fingers be protected from being crushed or otherwise injured in the hinge space of a swing door or gate. There are simple devices available to attach to the hinge side, ensuring that this type of injury does not occur.
Does this include schools? Homes? Playgrounds? YMCA and activity centers? Libraries? Accidents are most likely to happen in the home. Protection in the home starts with the parent. Protection at the community level begins with the parents. Parents, let's start looking after our kids!
It's time we started thinking about doors as dangerous and implementing safeties rather than ignoring the problem and hoping it will go away.
Always putting safety first,