As a parent, you are constantly keeping an eye on your children, helping them avoid hazards. However, there are many hazards that are harder to spot. As escalator injury lawyers, we understand the potential dangers escalators pose, especially to small children. Here we provide tips to help avoid escalator accidents and injuries for your child.
Teach Your Kids Safe Behavior
From an early age, kids should be taught safe escalator behavior. As soon as you feel your child is old enough, be sure to teach them to always hold the handrail, and stand still until the escalator reaches its destination. Stepping on and off the escalator requires their full attention, and they should always use the handrail when stepping onto the moving steps. Also, show them the yellow safety lines that escalators should have along the sides.
Make sure they understand their feet must always remain on the inside of those lines. To help stress the potential dangers of escalators, be sure your child knows they are not allowed to play on or near them. Also, never leave your child unattended in areas where an escalator is nearby. It just takes a matter of seconds for a child to step onto an escalator and suffer an injury.
Safe Escalator Tips
When riding the elevator keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Height: Kids who can’t reach the handrail should not be riding the escalator. Instead consider taking the stairs or elevator, or carry your child if you feel you can do so safely.
- Dangling Clothing: Escalator injuries involving loose clothing can be a choking risk should they get caught when the elevator is moving. Be sure to check for things such as hanging scarves, toggles and strings at the bottom of pants, undone shoelaces, etc. before getting onto the escalator.
- Carrying Items: Carrying items on an escalator can increase the risk for accidents. It can make it difficult to hold onto the handrail and also can increase the risk of the items getting caught. However, it is also dangerous to place items on the escalator steps, so this should be avoided. If you can’t safely manage the items you are carrying and hold the handrail, it is best to avoid the escalator.
- Safe Landing: Be prepared to assist your child when you reach the end of the escalator, as they will need to be coordinated enough to step off as soon as the “ride” ends.
- Remain Standing: Kids might be tempted to sit on the steps, or worse mount the railings. Be sure they understand they must remain standing, holding the handrail.
- Running: Make sure they understand they should never run up or down the moving escalator or try to go the opposite way of the escalator.
- Shoes: Escalators should never be ridden with bare feet. Footwear such as flip-flops, sandals and slip-on shoes can increase the risk for accidents.
These tips will help you avoid an escalator injury.
If you experience an escalator accident, speak to an escalator injury attorney to understand your rights.