Until recently, shredders have been primarily used in businesses
but as concerns about identity theft rise, so does the demand
for paper shredders. More and more families are now using paper
shredders in their homes to keep personal information and documents
from being stolen by bin raiders. In the past five years, home
shredder sales have increased by 35%.
With paper shredders becoming more common in the home, children
are falling victim to these machines with greater frequency. The
majority of injuries are to young children under the age of five.
These injuries include finger amputations, lacerations, and other
finger injuries from paper shredders.
The study finds that children under the age of 5 run the greatest
risk of injury because the openings on many shredders are not
narrow enough to prevent their fingers from getting pulled in.
We urge parents not to let young children use or be near shredders
at any time. Injuries do occur even when an adult is supervising
Children’s fingers can be pulled into the paper shredding
mechanism because they don’t let the paper go. This is what
happened to a 2 year old toddler who nearly had three of his digits
ripped off by a shredder when he was helping his mom shred paper.
We suggest the No. 1 way to avoid an injury to a child's fingers
is to keep them away from shredders altogether.
We suggest you place the paper shredder in an area less accessible
Make sure to unplug the paper shredder power cord when the shredder
is not in use.
Do not place your hands or your fingers in the shredder opening
or operate a paper shredder while wearing loose fitting clothing.
And remember to keep hair and items, such as a tie or a long necklace, away
from the shredder opening at all times.