Beware of doors
Doors are dangerous things, especially for kids. The person who designed them originally must be very proud of himself/herself. They are sturdy and strong and can keep the wind and rain and big bad wolves at bay. But they also have hinges and jambs and they move and squeak, thus presenting a fascination but also a major threat to little limbs, fingers and toes. I’ve heard of so many tales about lost fingers, permanent disfigurement and disabilities.
I remember when my twin boys were 18 months old. I took R out of the car first, carried him inside the house, leaving the front door open while I ran back for his brother. Wham! He pushed the door closed, with a forefinger caught in the hinges. Luckily, the finger wasn’t broken but the nail did turn black and eventually came off. But boy, was I scared. We did have special door stoppers and hinge guards then especially to protect those little fingers but not on the front and back doors. That wasn’t the last time that it happened but I always thought it would get easier as they grow older. Well, I had another scare just today. While playing chase and catch, F decided to escape to his room and closed the door on his brother’s hand. Another heart-stopping moment for me. Again, lucky it was a minor injury.
Another thing about doors is that one can easily get locked in. Especially our little ones. In most European homes, doors are locked by turning the key in the keyhole. We have no bolts or one-push door locks. This is quite convenient because as soon as our boys were mobile, we just put away the keys (again except for the front and back doors). Swiss doors are even niftily designed to have a special cubby hole on the door itself to keep the key in so they won’t get lost or mixed up. But it’s a different story when it comes to public toilets and changing rooms at the swimming. My boys already locked themselves in a changing room at age 6 months. Luckily, it’s one of those cubicles that is open on top so I could climb over (with some help from below) and rescue them. That’s when I started this rule never to lock toilet doors. And I thought that was the last of week. Well, about 6 years later (just last week), R locked himself in the changing room after swimming lessons and started bawling. This time I had to ask a pool staff member to come and help. But R did learn his lesson.
Doors are wonderful and handy things. But as a mom, I’m scared stiff of them.
Check out these figures:
- 300,000 door-related injuries every year in the USA.
- 45,000 injuries to the hands and fingers of children under 14.
- 15,000 amputations from finger pinch injuries
I don’t want to scare you. I just want you to take care. Doors are a threat to kids, no matter what age they are.