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Shredder Safety

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 a child.

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 to children.

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.