Crushing, Cuts & Piercing
Crushing injuries occur when an object compresses the body. Cuts & pierces are incisions, slashes or punctures of the skin by an object or sharp instrument. UK children suffer more than 150,000 crushing, cutting and piercing injuries per year. In the US, rates are broadly similar per head of population. Obviously in the worst cases then the injury is fatal or results in serious paralysis. In the United States, the 2nd leading cause of death to children (ages 5-14) is "unintentional pedestrian injuries".
Very few children tend to die of cuts and piercings but there are countless accidents and injuries related to this.
If you are aware of the potential injury mechanisms, you can really help your child minimise the risk from these types of accidents. Read the following tips which should help:
Crushing & Piercing Safety Tips
- Encourage children to be fully conversant with Road Safety
- Driveway car crushing injuries are fairly common to children: take your time, check around the car before setting off, even if in a hurry, get your kids to stay visible in an agreed area and reverse slowly. Ideally make sure your car has proximity bleeping alarms on the front and back. When entering the driveway, enter slowly, especially if there are bushes and trees obscuring your view of everything.
- Take care that heavy furniture such as TV Sets do not cause a danger to children by climbing or pulling them over onto themselves. Make sure they are completely secure and cannot be pulled over. Wall mounted TV Sets should be fixed correctly to the wall in a secure manner with approved bracketing. The same goes for wardrobes, mirrors or any other heavy object that could cause a major danger if it toppled.
- Ensure heavy items are as close to the floor as possible e.g. on bottom shelves rather than top shelves
- Fish tanks pose a danger (if low could be a drowning hazard, if high they could be a crushing hazard).
- Check out the garden for heavy statues and pots that could be pulled over. Remove or secure or barrier off.
- Do not transport heavy items down the stairs until you 100% know for a fact that all children are safely out of the way. Dropping a wardrobe or heavy TV (e.g. in house removals) down the stairs has in some instances killed inquisitive young children who were watching at the bottom.
- Be aware when travelling outside your home (e.g. hotel rooms or friends / relatives houses) that they may not be as safe as yours so assess risks and ensure you are happy with the situation. Remain vigilant and supervise.
- Children's fingers can be crushed in home or car doors. Care and attention needs to be exercised at all times when closing doors and encourage older siblings not to close doors completely. Door jams can be purchased to prevent closing but these should be removed at night as ideally doors would be closed to slow down any potential fire spreading too quickly.
- Avoid walking past partly built walls on pavements/sidewalks : there are a number of instances of collapsing walls killing child pedestrians
Cuts & Pierces
- Foot injuries when standing on something sharp tends to be the main injury statistic
- Try not to leave household sharp objects e.g. scissors, knives, forks, skewers, knitting needles, pins, razors etc. in accessible places and keep in drawers or cupboards with safety latches
- In the garage or outdoor shed lock away all sharp tools or knives in a high cupboard to keep them away from children. Do not leave them unattended while using them. As soon as you've finished with them, store them away safely.
- Be especially careful with glass
- Don't allow young children to walk around with sharp pencils or other sharp objects in case they fall and pierce themselves accidentally
- Don't allow children near paper shredders or food blenders
- Don't allow children near lawn mowers
- Be especially careful of children being tempted to climb sharp pointy fencing
- Make sure your child has the correct vaccines and top ups e.g. tetanus to prevent the risk of catching it. Even small wounds from plants in the garden can lead to this so watch out for early signs e.g. jaw stiffeners