Nearly everyone has slammed their fingers in a door at least once, and the pain can be excruciating. When this happens to a child’s small and delicate fingers, the injuries can be severe.
Many daycares have spring-loaded swinging doors either with or without doorknobs. These doors are very heavy, and small children are generally unable to stop them from closing. Kids can be severely injured and even lose fingers when they put their small hands on the hinges or on the opposite side of the door where the doorknob would be. When doors that do not stay open on their own are used at daycares, it can be hazardous for children.
Daycares should supervise small children near all doors—and especially these types of doors. There should also be safety devices on these spring-loaded doors.
How Door Finger-Trapping Accidents Happen
In a daycare center, it is common for automatic door closers to be in place. These are designed to slow down slammed doors to prevent finger-trapping accidents from occurring. This works only on the handle side of the door, but the majority of door-finger trapping injuries take place on the hinge side of the door.
There is an easy solution to this dangerous situation. Numerous manufacturers make door finger pinch guards that daycares can install on the hinged side of the door. These safety devices can completely eliminate the chance of a hinge-trapping accident. The small plastic casing is easy to install and is placed around both sides of the door, blocking contact with the open hinge. These stoppers can also prevent the door from closing unexpectedly.
In addition to adding pinch guards, daycares can paint or tape the area where the door swings to provide a visual reminder for everyone to stay out of the patch of a swinging door.
Symptoms of a Finger-Trapping Injury
A finger-trapping incident that occurs because of a heavy door slamming shut can cause painful injuries. Some of the most common symptoms include the following:
- Throbbing and aching finger pain
- Bruising and color change of the skin and fingernail
- Loss of sensation in the fingertip
- Difficulty using the fingertip and stiffness in the finger
- Inflammation, including pain, swelling, and redness
What You Should Do If Your Child Is Hurt in a Finger-Trapping Accident
If your child suffers an injury in a finger-trapping accident, it is crucial to obtain medical and legal help immediately. Medical treatment will establish a paper trail that will be beneficial with an insurance claim and if you decide to file a lawsuit with the daycare. Insurance companies may argue that if you didn’t seek immediate medical treatment, the injury was not that bad.
Although some door finger-trapping accidents will heal on their own, sometimes the injuries are so severe—even the loss of a finger in some cases—that they will require medical treatment. Getting immediate medical treatment can also help prevent complications from seemingly minor injuries.
Getting legal help immediately is also beneficial. If the daycare is found to be liable for your child’s door finger-trapping accident, they will be the ones to pay for your child’s medical bills. Other damages you and your child may be eligible for include other costs associated with the treatment and recovery of your child’s injuries, as well as their pain and suffering.
Contact The Button Law Firm
If you believe your child’s injury is due to negligence on the part of the daycare or because they did not have the appropriate safety features in place to prevent swinging door accidents, we invite you to contact us. The Button Law Firm can help you win a case in civil court. Bringing suit against the daycare might also help prevent other children from going through the same experience.