Not Kid FriendlyIt turns out my irrational fear of my children riding escalators is justified, as this awful story outside of Los Angeles sadly proves. A 17-month-old little boy got his finger severed by an escalator as he and his mother were riding down in the Van Nuys courthouse. The little boy's left index finger got caught in the foot tread and part of his finger was ripped off. Yep, a finger in the foot tread. That sounds like a toddler.
A dedicated team of firefighters searched for 90 minutes, tearing the escalator apart to find the boy's finger, so it could be re-attached. Even though the finger was found, the news report says the re-attachment surgery was unsuccessful. The boy is still in the hospital and recovering, but will surely have some challenges ahead.
Needless to say, my toddler will never get on an escalator again, as this isn't the first time a toddler has lost a finger to these moving stairs.
Toddlers are wiggly, curious, and do not grasp the concept of standing still in the middle of a moving machine. They'll grab, run, throw themselves on the floor, and certainly don't know how to step over the edge when they reach the end. It's no surprise that there are over 2,000 injuries to children each year thanks to escalators.
Just last summer a 4-year-old lost his finger at Macy's on the wooden escalator (which I mistakenly thought would be safer than the steel traps of today). The great Croc-eating incidents of '06 seemed like a warning to children everywhere that distracted small people and stairs with teeth don't mix.
Like sharp knives and cleaning supplies, escalators are one of those things that toddlers just shouldn't get involved with if at all possible. If you must take your tot on one, pick him up and watch his dangling hands. That is, if you want him to keep all those digits.
Even though they're calling this a "freak" accident, it really is frequent enough to not be so shocking, or freakish, anymore.
Do you worry about your toddler on an escalator?
Image via jo-h/Flickr