How to Keep Your Kids Safe from Garage Door Hazards
The bright eyes and innocent chuckles of children makes it hard to accept that this world can be a dangerous place for them. Even within your own home, you could probably sit down and identify dozens of things that could be injurious to your kids, an exercise which may be frightening but nevertheless, eye-opening.
On the injury list of horrors where rooms like the bathroom and kitchen sit on top, it can be hard to remember other trouble spots at home. The garage is one of those areas, and it is a cause of injury for many unsuspecting people, especially children. That’s why it is important to protect your kids from injuries caused by residential garage doors with professional help. Whether that entails regular maintenance or significant repairs to your garage, the effort to take action now is what will keep your kids safe in the future.
A Tragic Story
Although no one likes to hear heartbreaking stories, they often serve as a wake-up call of what happens when safety matters sit on the backburner. Back in April, a 3-year old girl in Waldorf, Maryland died after a garage door crushed her underneath it. According to police, 3-year old Laila Dawn Coady pushed a button and ran under the door as it was closing, which led to her death. Her mother heard the door close and decided to investigate when she noticed that no one had entered.
After the discovery, Laila was taken to Civista Hospital in LaPlata, where she was unfortunately pronounced dead. While Waldorf police report that the garage had sensors on both sides, there is a possibility that the garage door itself may have had malfunctions.
What the Numbers Have to Say
Stories like the one listed in the previous section are the fault of no one, but they are tragic because parents can still prevent these accidents. Tragedies of this nature happen on a yearly basis, and even if they don’t claim the lives of affected children (or adults), the injuries they cause can have lifelong effects both physically and emotionally.
– Garage Door Injuries send 20,000 people to the hospital every year in the U.S.
– Since 1974, more than 85 children have died or suffered traumatic brain injuries due to automatic garage doors
Fortunately, the death rate for garage injuries are fairly low, but the number of injuries are still a concern for all homeowners and parents who have garage doors.
There are numerous injuries that can occur when garage door accidents happen, and they can range from mild to fatal. However, when children are the victims, the severity of these injuries are usually greater since they are smaller and more vulnerable to the heavy weight and pressure of a garage door. These injuries can occur anywhere in the body and usually require immediate treatment.
Common Garage Door Injuries:
– One Canadian report revealed that 59% of garage door injuries between 1990 and 2005 involved cut and/or crushed fingers and hands
– 23.5% of injuries involved a garage door which had slammed shut on a person
– Fractured and broken bones are a common injury
– Concussions and skull injuries also take place in many instances
– Many victims suffer deep cuts and lacerations
How to Prevent a Garage Door Mishap
It is important that you don’t let these news reports or statistics frighten you. While the risks are real, you can take steps to ensure that your kids are safe from residential garage doors and their dangers. With that said, however, there are many different ways you can approach the issue of garage safety. So where should you start?
Call on a Garage Door Professional
Although the world has become increasingly “DIY”, the only advantage that exists with this trend is a short-term reduction of costs. The key word here is short-term, and it is common for home projects to require additional work and subsequently, more money. On the other hand, professionals who have experience with residential garage doors will help you childproof your garage efficiently now, so that you don’t face safety hazards and unnecessary costs in the future. With that said, the best place for you to start when you plan to make your garage safer is with a phone call to a certified technician.
How Professionals Can Help You Childproof Your Garage
Installation of Safety Devices – Although the use of safety devices seems obvious enough, there are a surprising number of people who have garage doors that are devoid of these features. Your garage opener is one of the first places to start when it comes to safety, and a technician can install and calibrate your photo eye sensors so that they function correctly. The correct alignment of your garage door’s photo eye is one of the primary defenses against garage injuries.
Regular Maintenance & Repair – Another area that is essential to garage safety is that of maintenance and repair. A common cause of garage mishaps are the malfunction of poorly maintained garage units, and it is possible for these components to fail even when you attempt to fix them. However, a technician that has experience with garage doors for residential settings has the knowledge and tools to repair these units to working order. Whether it’s time to change your torsion springs or safety cables, a certified technician can ensure that the job is completed accurately.
Visual Inspections – You can probably spot potential issues when you conduct your own inspection. But think of it this way for example: you may have a case of hives or a rash which you strongly believe is the result of an allergy. However, wouldn’t you agree that a doctor would better understand the true nature of your condition? Likewise, the eyes of a certified technician will better spot mechanical flaws that can make your garage door a safety hazard.
How You Can Help a Technician Help You
The services of a professional technician will do wonders for your efforts to childproof your garage door. Yet still, their role as a professional lies in a paradox since they need your help as well. Simply put, you need to be the final strand that ensures the safety of your kids by educating them. Part of the reason why garage door injuries occur is due to a lack of supervision, awareness, or boundaries. It is essential that you alert your kids about the dangers that surround garage doors and set guidelines for them to follow.
Parenting Tips for Garage Door Safety
1. Supervise! Don’t Let Them Play too Close – Kids are risk-takers by nature, so they may try to slide under doors or ride their bike underneath a door as it closes. This is especially true during the summer where everyone may be in different parts of the house while engaged in warm weather activities. If your child decides to play on the driveway, make sure to supervise their activities or better yet, keep the door locked so that they can’t open it.
2. Keep Remotes/Devices Away from Them – If you inadvertently leave a remote or smartphone with a garage-enabling app lying around, your child might go into an experimental state of mind and start to fiddle with the garage. Therefore, it’s wise that you keep these devices out of sight or with you so that they don’t get a chance to play with them.
3. Cautiously Inform them About Injury Risks – If your kids are very young, the best thing to do is supervise them while they play. However, if your child is a little older, they will most likely understand warnings given to them about the risks of playing too close to a garage door. You should explain these risks in a manner that they can understand and appreciate. Also, it is wise that you explain the risks in a manner that doesn’t scare them since you might induce a phobia that will be hard to shake off.
Make Child Safety a Priority
As a homeowner, you are faced with many things to think about and that includes the safety of your kids. There is no doubt that you make the utmost effort to keep healthy and that also means you take tangible safety hazards seriously. Therefore, you should treat your garage in a similar fashion. Thanks to the expertise of certified technicians, residential garage doors don’t need to pose a persistent threat to the safety of your young ones. In combination with your efforts to teach them about garage safety, the installation and maintenance of mechanical gear will ensure that they never have to face a garage-related injury. At the very least, you will have one less safety burden to deal with!
Are you concerned that your garage door is not quite childproof? Give us a shout at 1-888-244-4171 or take a look at our services to see how we can assist you.