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10 Tips Children Escalator Safety | Escalator Safety

January 24, 2013 +6012-9668133

10 Tips Children Escalator Safety

There is more to protecting children from injuries on escalators than just holding their hands.

In the U.S., escalator-related accidents account for more than 11,000 visits to hospital emergency rooms annually, with an unknown number of injuries treated elsewhere, says the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). A disproportionate number of injuries occur in children and often involve fingers, toes and feet, some resulting in permanent impairment.

Here is what you should know:

1. Use elevators when possible. The risk of children having accidents on escalators increases when parents or other caretakers are accompanied by more than one child, carry packages, wheel strollers or carts, hold pets on leashes and, for some adults, wear bifocals. In a multi-year study of 13,000 child-related injuries on escalators 723 involved strollers; in most cases a child fell out of the stroller. Adults should be able to keep one of their hands on the handrail and hold a young child’s hand with the other; otherwise they should take an elevator.

Elevators are usually located near escalators, though often out of sight. Look for signs or ask.

2. Lift toddlers on and off. Even many four-year-olds lack the developmental skills to coordinate stepping on and off a moving platform at the right moment. They usually jump, making it difficult to maintain their balance and to control their forward motion. They are unaware that landing on the crack where steps will appear can result in their falling. And they often let their feet slide off the escalator.

3. Step over the “combs” when getting on and off. The combs are the teeth-like projections where the steps emerge and disappear, forming a gap where toes and feet may become entrapped.

4. Stand in the middle of the steps. There is also a narrow space between the steps and the sides of the escalator where shoelaces, pants bottoms, scarves, drawstrings, and long skirts can become entangled.

5. Flexible plastic shoes pose unique hazards. The CPSC reports numerous cases of Crocs and Crocs-like shoes causing accidents. Children sometimes slide these shoes along the sides of the escalator. This causes friction and further softens the plastic, increasing the risk of such shoes becoming wedged into spaces.

6. Look around before getting on. Children can be distracting. Adults have absentmindedly stepped on escalators coming toward them. (Older children do it on purpose.) This causes falls. Leave several steps empty before getting on. Emergency shutoff buttons are usually located only at the top and bottom of the escalator, generally on the right as you enter.

7. Keep a close eye on children. The risk of injury increases when children misbehave, sit down on the steps, face backwards, or pick up objects that they have dropped. Placing hands on the escalator steps is especially dangerous near the end of the ride. Fingers can become caught in the combs.

8. Never loiter after stepping off. Walk away from the escalator, then stop to get your bearings. People may be right behind you. Children have been injured when adults or luggage fell on them.

9. Airport escalators may be especially hazardous. Busy airports report dozens of serious escalator-related accidents a year — and very rarely, a death. Risk factors include large carts, heavy luggage, and perhaps, passenger fatigue, and lack of familiar surroundings. Signs banning luggage carts on escalators are sometimes ignored; some airports have installed physical barriers. Large and heavy luggage is treacherous; it may not fit on a step and can go tumbling onto riders below.

10. Stay alert on moving walkways, too. While such walkways are safer than escalators, they also have spaces along the sides and combs at the end. Many people become distracted, especially on long walkways, and forget that they are on conveyances that require stepping off. Many walkways are equipped with voice warnings, flashing lights and palpable “bumps” to help keep riders alert.

Reference: 10 Tips: Children/Escalators/Safety


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