My daughter loves sticking her fingers in the gap between a door and the wall, meaning we’ve had a number of close calls where her fingers were nearly crushed by closing doors.
So far, our constant vigilance has prevented her fingers from getting crushed. As there are only so many types of childproofing products I’m willing to buy, I haven’t yet bought any special doorframe finger guards. This is why I was pleased to learn about a frugal trick for protecting little fingers from doors, a free-to-implement tip that is today’s hint.
According to Colleen Driscoll, executive director of the International Association for Child Safety Inc., a trade association for professional childproofers, a strategically placed thick hand towel can prevent a door from closing all the way and reduce the risk of a finger entrapment injury.
Here’s how Ms. Driscoll recommends hanging the towel: Place it “over the top of the door similar to how you would hang a towel over a towel rack,” (see the image to the left) making sure to place the towel near the hinge side of the door, rather than on the door handle side. A hinge-side placement leaves a bigger gap when the door closes than a towel placed handle-side.
Once the towel is in place, Ms. Driscoll says, “when someone tries to close the door, the towels bumps against the door top framing,” keeping the door from closing completely.
Turns out Ms. Driscoll isn’t the only proponent of this technique. Heloise recommends it too as do baby safety product site SafeBeginnigns.com and professional childproofer the Childproof Coach (he mentioned it in a helpful list of 7 free childproofing tips). Others who have written about the tip include Ruth at the blog Belle Amie Mother of Three, and people commenting on the sites Parent Hacks and Baby Center.
If you like this trick, make sure to use a thick hand-size towel, as Ms. Driscoll says thin dish towels won’t create a big enough gap between the door and the doorframe, while inquisitive toddlers might yank on longer bath towels.
To be sure, this towel tip won’t work for all doors. If it doesn’t work on yours, then you may want to consider a finger guard like this one from KidCo or rely on good old fashioned constant supervision. And you won’t want to force the door closed with the towel there as this could damage the door hinges. Finally, you can find more tips for childproofing on the cheap here.
What are your strategies for protecting little fingers from doors?
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