Strikes, Crushes and Jams
Strikes, crushes and jams lead to a significant number of A&E admissions.To make your home as safe as it can be for your child you should ensure any heavy objects or furniture are securely attached to a solid surface – eliminating the chance of being pulled down, or knocked over, on to your child.
Did You Know?
- Strikes can be defined as any object hitting your child. Think about anything that could fall onto your child like a flat screen TV, a bookcase, a cupboard or anything else similar to these items. Most large furniture, like bookcases, have additional fixtures to assist you attaching it to the wall.
- The dictionary definition of a crush describes a situation you would want to avoid perfectly. It says “deform…or force inwards by compressing forcefully.”
Injuries, depending on the amount of force or pressure the child suffers, can vary from bruising to broken bones. Holding, cuddling, or even swaddling, a baby too tightly can cause crush-based injuries or pose a threat to their ability to breathe. See our advice here.
- Jams mostly occur when an under 5 puts their fingers or limbs in between a moving object. Typical injuries include fingers being shut in doors, however, injuries can also occur when the temptation to touch a moving object becomes too much and fingers get caught up in mechanisms. Think bike chains, or gaps in skirting boards that may be just big enough for your child to squeeze a finger into – but not easily removed.
Babies, generally speaking, shouldn’t be able to injure themselves however injuries will occur to babies, if adults don’t take necessary precautions to avoid the baby suffering a strike, crush or jam injury.
Always make sure big objects like cabinets are affixed to a solid wall. And despite how tempting it is to give your crying baby a tight, comforting, cuddle – remember that their little bodies are delicate and not fully formed.
Crawlers move around your home and possibly into areas that you may not realise they are in. Always think before moving a heavy object to check your child is not in the way.
Just as stated with babies, awareness of your child’s location can greatly reduce the risk of them suffering a strike, crush or jam. However, with them being more mobile and on two feet, the risk that they can hurt themselves increases.
Always remember, teaching your child is the key at this stage. Help them learn about what a safe distance away from something dangerous is – especially if you’re moving heavy objects. Also a good idea is to warn them what could happen if they climb onto, or pull themselves up on, large objects like cabinets or book cases.
Always educate your toddler about road safety. A driver pulling into, or out of, your driveway/garage may miss the fact your child has snuck in front or behind it.
Always check out a friend or family member’s house as well, when visiting. Just take a few moments to look out for any dangers that may be evident – like unfixed/wobbly shelving or cabinets.
Running Free/School Children
Again, education is key. It will provide your child with the knowledge to remain safe around your home or elsewhere.