About 150,000 individuals visit American emergency rooms each year for injuries caused by closing car doors, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Many more such injuries are treated elsewhere. More than half of the victims are children less than 14 years of age. Severity of injuries ranges from minor to those requiring surgery, including (rarely) amputation of parts of one or more fingers. Other non-traffic injuries involving children include: falls while entering or exiting cars; falls from the exterior of vehicles (the result of climbing on cars or adults momentarily placing infants in car seats on the hood, top, or back of cars); lacerations from sharp edges on bumpers or license plates; and being struck by someone opening a door or tailgate.
Parental common sense, awareness, and supervision are the only antidotes to such injuries. However, there are recommendations for preventing accidents related to taking infants in car seats in and out of cars – an act which injure thousands of adults each year. That is the subject of our next posting.