Garage Door Child Safety.com

Taking Kids For A Ride, Not A Good Idea

It looks like a lot of fun, for kids, far too often.

Riding a garage door up and down has become a sport for some children.  Unfortunately the sport turns to disaster, far too easily.

For example, 10-year-old Nick Green was returning home from his fourth-grade class when he made a costly error while opening his home's garage door.

Neighbors say the Columbus, Ohio, boy grabbed hold of the lowest fold in the door and rode it up as it opened, dropping off at the last second. When he repeated the stunt, he didn't let go in time

As the boy's motionless body dangled in the driveway, 16-year-old Jason Reed rushed to his aid from his nearby home. Reed held Nick's body up to relieve pressure on his neck until paramedics freed him.

When they arrived on the scene, Columbus Fire Division paramedics forced the garage door down enough to remove Nick. The boy suffered a severe head injury, as a result.

Others are not as lucky.

Most accidents occur when a child is crushed under a door as it is closing.

By Joe English, KATU News and KATU.com Staff

Story Published: Mar 31, 2009 at 9:42 AM PDT

http://media.katu.com/images/090331_garage_door_shirt.jpg

BEAVERTON, Ore. – A Beaverton boy is laughing about it now and will have a good story to tell in the future, but his narrow escape from a rising garage door recently put his life in jeopardy.

Tony Quatraro, 9, said his shirt has gotten caught on a handle on the outside of the garage door before, but this time, he could not work it loose in time.

The motorized garage door kept rising, picking him up and bringing him up towards the top of the opening - and then tried to pull him through.

But he was just a bit too big.

His mother, Tiffanie Quatraro, said she and Tony’s sister, Talia, came running when they heard his cries for help, but they also could not get Tony down.

Tiffanie held him by his feet he was pinned against the top of the garage door.

Meanwhile, the garage door opener continued trying to open, cinching Tony’s shirt ever more tightly around his waist as it did.

His mother said his waist was squeezed down to about as big around as a cantaloupe as he struggled to get free. Tony still has marks on his body from where the shirt tightened around him.

Sister Talia ran to several neighbor’s houses, looking for anyone who was still at home that could help. Tiffanie dialed 9-1-1 and tried to explain the unusual predicament to the dispatcher.

On tape, she can be heard calmly telling the dispatcher that Tony’s circulation was getting cut off - at the waist.

Finally, a neighbor arrived with some heavy-duty shears and cut through Tony’s shirt, freeing him.

An ambulance arrived and Tony was taken to the hospital, where he was checked out and deemed uninjured except for some abrasions from the coiled shirt.

Tiffanie Quatraro then called the company that makes the garage door opener to ask why there was no safety sensor for the door when it is going up.

Most all modern garage door openers have a safety sensor that reverses direction if the door hits something (such as a small child) but only when it is closing.

The person Quatraro talked to also told her that people should not stand near the garage door while it is opening.

Tony said he is hanging onto his favorite shirt as a souvenir despite it being all cut up.

 

It’s better to eliminate the risk, than simply warn a homeowner, especially when it comes to a child’s safety.

The lure of the garage door is too much for many small children, who see potential adventure in riding the electrically operated door up and down.

One garage door official doesn’t think this lure is going to go away.
“You’re not going to stop children from riding garage doors with signs or training, but you can make the garage door safer for little children!” the official said.

Several garage door companies have attempted to do just that, by installing new section joints.  The joints make it difficult for a child to insert their fingers between door sections, facilitating any kind of ride.

The lure of riding a garage door is going to go away for kids, despite warning labels or an education campaign, One garage door official believes manufacturers simply need to make each garage door safer.

Some have actually taken it beyond that, as well, by blocking holes in the track, where little fingers can easily slide and be injured, and by using devices to make them as child proof as possible.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s latest report estimates over 20,000 accidents related to garage door use a year. The CPSC estimates that 8.1 percent of the approximately 17,691 garage door accidents or roughly 2,211 incidents occurred with children 14 and under.
 
Putting a face on those numbers only makes the issue more real.  For example, in a northern Utah community two kids thought it would be fun to ride a garage door at their home.  One of the boys put his fingers in the section joint.  When the door reached the ground he was trapped.  He had to be rushed to the hospital, after his release.

“Children can’t read signs that say, KEEP CHILDREN AWAY and if they are told to stay away, they want to see why when mom and dad are gone,” the garage door said.

He maintains, “every manufacturer should build prevention into each garage door they make.”

 “It’s an embarrassment to our industry to make a coloring book to go in the schools to tell the dangers of the garage door,” Martin said.  “Fix the door.  Isn’t that better than putting up a lot of signs that little children can’t read or printing color books?”

Another garage door official likened warning signs on the garage door to old medicine caps, which could be easily opened by children.  He said pharmaceutical companies discovered it is better to put a lock-on cap on medicine bottles, than a warning label that children couldn’t read. 

ABC News 

Older Garage Doors Can Be Dangerous

Older Garage Door Models May Need Replacement

Nov. 19
Nick Green was returning home from his fourth-grade class when he made a costly error while opening his home's garage door. While the mistake landed the 10-year-old in critical condition, safety experts say Nick's horrific story isn't unique.

While Nick remains in critical condition, other kids do not survive similar mishaps.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says it has received reports indicating that nationwide, at least 60 children between the ages of 2 and 14 have died in accidents involving garage doors since 1982.

However, most recorded incidents differ from Nick's since they occurred while doors were closing.

In Nick's case, neighbors say the Columbus, Ohio, boy grabbed hold of the lowest fold in the door and rode it up as it opened, dropping off at the last second. When he repeated the stunt, he didn't let go in time

As the boy's motionless body dangled in the driveway, 16-year-old Jason Reed rushed to his aid from his nearby home. Reed held Nick's body up to relieve pressure on his neck until paramedics freed him.

Reed's mother, Geri, tried to figure out what they should do in a frantic call to 911.

Geri Reed: "We have a child whose face is stuck in an automatic garage door." 911 dispatcher: "Is the child able to breath?" Geri Reed: "No. He's turning blue. He's limp." 911: "Are there several neighbors there?" Geri Reed: "Myself and my teenage son." 911: "Have you tried to move the door up or down?" Geri Reed: "We're afraid to move him." 911: "OK. One of you is going to have to hold the kid and the other go move the door up a little bit." Geri Reed: "It's up as high as it'll go &"

When they arrived on the scene, Columbus Fire Division paramedics forced the garage door down enough to remove Nick. The Reeds say they were frightened by what they saw next.

"They pulled down the garage door and he just fell into my arms. He was all limp and his face and ears and fingers was all blue," Jason Reed said.
Nick has remained in critical condition at Children's Hospital with a severe head injury since the Nov. 4 accident. Good Morning America's home improvement editor, Ron Hazelton, says Green's story, and hundreds of others, should serve as warnings for homeowners who have old garage doors. Hazelton says that most accidents occur when a child is crushed by a door as it is closing.

Federal law now requires that newer garage doors reverse while closing if an infrared beam is broken or they meet resistance. But garage doors manufactured before 1992 were not required to have a photo-electric eye and an automatic reverse mechanism, and many did not.

The automatic reverse system prompts the garage door to go back up if it meets resistance, such as an arm, leg or a tricycle in the door. Some doors also have a backup system in which the door reverses if it runs for 30 seconds or more.

The very latest garage doors have microprocessors that make door openers smarter. They learn how much effort is required to open and close the door normally and if any additional resistance is sensed, the door stops and reverses. Springs, pulley and cables are eliminated or enclosed.

Hazelton's Tips:

Perform a monthly test on your garage door by inserting a 2-by-4 under the door and operating the closer, to make sure that the door pops back up when there is something blocking it from closing. Teach kids not to play around opening and closing doors. Even with automatic reverse doors, a child's fingers can still be broken or severed if they are inserted into holes in the door track. Cover openings with duct tape to avoid this. Make sure that garage door controllers are out of childrens' reach.
Copyright © 2008 ABC News Internet Ventures

Older Garage Doors Can Be Dangerous
Nov. 18, 2003 | Good Morning America
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Hazelton/story?id=128196&page=1

... Garage; Door; Danger; Hazelton; Home Improvement; Good Morning America; Garage ... Older Garage Doors Can Be Dangerous ... his home's garage door. While the mistake landed the 10-year-old in ...

 

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