By Raising Children Network
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Cupboards, doors, door hinges and the hinge side of doors can all hurt children’s fingers. Your child’s fingers could also get caught between moving parts of folding equipment such as cots, high chairs, prams and strollers.

Child opening front door iStockphoto.com/Kathye Killer
 

Children under five are particularly prone to finger injuries, with one-year-olds the most likely to hurt themselves. There are lots of things you can do to cut down the risk of serious injuries. 

Finger protection strips

Statistics show that more children are injured by the hinge side of the door than the handle side. Finger protection strips help prevent this injury by stopping children from putting their fingers in the hinge side of a door.

These strips don’t affect the appearance of your home, are easily installed and don’t alter the function of your doors. There are two sizes available:

  • small – 200 mm wide, for doors that open 90 degrees
  • large – 250 mm wide, for doors that open 180 degrees.

You can also ask about putting them in place at your child’s kindergarten, day care centre or school/classroom.

More ways to prevent injuries from doors and hinges

Here are more ideas to stop little fingers and hands getting jammed in doors and other places:

  • Check that your child’s hands are well out of the way before opening and closing doors, including car doors.
  • Check that your child’s fingers aren’t in the way before closing windows in the car.
  • Teach your child not to slam doors, and not to play around them. Child finger injuries often involve another person, especially another child – for example, a child playing with an older sibling. The children try to close the door on each other, and one of them ends up with a finger jammed in the door.
  • Teach your child to keep her fingers away from the hinge side of doors.
  • Protect your child’s fingers by using a door guard. You can find out about these at child-safety centres at children’s hospitals and your local hardware shop.
  • Use doorstops to hold doors open and prevent them from slamming shut. Doorstops and weighted closing systems help stop doors from slamming suddenly.
  • Place a hook-and-eye latch high on doors, and/or a wedge under doors to stop them closing.
  • Drape a towel over the top of doors to keep them ajar.
  • Use a semi-circular foam mould to help prevent finger jams on the handle side of the door. This cheap guard is a U-shaped, soft, flexible piece of foam that clips onto the edge of the door and stops it from fully closing.

Video: Preventing accidents around your home

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In this short video, you’ll hear about making your home safe for your baby or child. It features parent tips and expert advice on using safety gates, child-proof locks, smoke detectors, door stops and powerpoint covers. A child-proofed house means your children can play and have fun with more freedom and less chance of getting hurt.

 
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  • Last Updated 29-12-2010
  • Last Reviewed 31-05-2010
  • Gunatilaka, A., Cassell, E., & Clapperton, A. (2005). Preventing hand entrapment injury from doors. Hazard, 59, 19-22.