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Potential Risks of Finger Pinch, Crush, or Shear Incidents


In the realm of childhood exploration, outdoor play areas should be havens of fun and discovery. However, one such concern is the risk of finger pinch, crush, or shear incidents, as highlighted in a recent incident involving a 3-year-old girl in Rotorua.

In new ACC claims for children and teens in 2023:

  1. Soft tissue injuries - 230,828

  2. Lacerations, punctures and stings - 88,648

  3. Fractures and dislocations - 47,863

At Playsafe we recognise the importance of prioritizing child safety in outdoor spaces, particularly when it comes to gates, shed doors, and sandpit storage box lids.

Our Focus on Finger Pinch Hazards:

Playsafe inspectors are focused on ensuring that Early Childhood outdoor areas meet the highest safety standards. Our thorough inspections prioritize identifying and mitigating finger pinch and crush hazards. We pay special attention to areas with variable gap openings, emphasizing a minimum clearance of 12mm diameter to prevent finger entrapment.

Proactive Measures:

To address potential dangers associated with doors, hatches, and storage box lids, Playsafe recommends the installation of latches and catches in both opening and closing positions. This simple yet effective measure adds an extra layer of protection, reducing the risk of unexpected finger injuries.

Soft Close Mechanism for Heavy Storage Lids: Recognising the potential for crush and shear hazards, especially with heavy storage hinged lids, Playsafe advocates for the use of soft close mechanisms, such as gas struts. This method allows lids to close gently and gradually, minimizing the crush and shear risk of injuries caused by abrupt closures.

Case in Point: The recent incident in Rotorua serves as a stark reminder of the real dangers that exist in everyday environments. Playsafe's commitment to safety aligns with our dedication to providing comprehensive inspections that not only identify potential hazards but also offer practical solutions to keep children safe during their outdoor adventures.

Ensuring the safety of children in outdoor play areas requires a proactive approach and continuous vigilance. By addressing finger pinch points and implementing practical solutions, we aim to make outdoor play spaces as safe as they are fun.

Aria Prakash on the day she went to say thank you to the firemen in Rotorua who she said saved her life.


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