Owning and running a child care facility is a huge undertaking and commitment. The most important part of your job is keeping the children at your center safe and free from harm, both physically and emotionally.
Children are busy beings — they run, jump, hop, spin, play and grab onto things. In a split second, a child’s fingers or hands could end up in a dangerous place that could lead to injuries, such as the opening between a door and its doorframe.
The National Safety Council estimates that more than 300,000 door-related injuries requiring emergency room treatment occur every year. Most of these injuries involve children, and the damage can be life altering.
The best-case scenario requires minor care, like stitches or a finger splint. More severe cases may result in the amputation of a finger, multiple surgeries, lifelong deformities or pain that never completely resolves. The trauma from the incident can also be devastating and far-reaching. It can impact not only the injured child, but also their parents, the other children at the center, caregivers, and you as the owner of the facility.
This is why USLI requires all commercial child care facility doors accessible by children to be equipped with permanent door hinge guards (or pinch shields). Hinge guards prevent children’s delicate fingers from getting caught in opening and closing doors. Hinge guards with the following features are available online and do not interfere with a door’s function.
- Hinge guards must be permanently installed on the hinge side of the door. Adhesive pinch guards are not acceptable.
- The hinge guards should cover both sides of the hinge and extend the full height of the door.