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Toddler injured on escalator resulting in trip to A&E

(127 Posts)
IlanaK Thu 19-May-11 21:22:31

i live in London so travel very regularly on the tube with my three boys, the youngest is 2 (3 at the end of July). I don't use a pushchair for him as he started walking everywhere about 6 months ago. We are on the tube most days and I always hold his hand on the escalators and stand behind him in case he falls backwards (on the up ones) so I do consider that I supervise him to an adequate standard.

On Wednesday, midway up an escalator, he started screaming and twisted to face me and fell to a sitting position on the step. I looked down and could see a black line across his shoe. I picked him up and at the top of the escalator moved to some seats so I could sit him down and see what happened. He was very very distressed so wouldn't talk to me. I took off his shoe and sock and he had quite severe red marks across the knuckles of all his toes. He was crying so hard. I managed to get a few words out of him and it appeared he had put his foot in the brush that is at the side of the escalator. It obviously got stuck in a gap underneath and dragged.

I carried him up the next escalator to the barriers and told a member of staff what happened. he took us to a supervisor office and I told them and they logged my details. They offered to call an ambulance but at that point I just wanted to get him to my mother's place where we had been headed which was just outside the station. I carried him all the way there with him whimpering the whole way. I sat with him on my lap and he fell asleep within ten minutes. He does not sleep during the day. I think he was just so distressed that he needed to block it out. When he woke, he was still distressed and refused to put any weight on the foot. So I ended up taking him to A&E. They xrayed the foot and said it was not broken but he had a severe crush injury to the soft tissue and that he would limp for a while.

He has still not put his foot on the ground over 24 hours later. If you touch the foot underneath (which is very swollen) he gets very upset. If he tries to stand, he cries and buckles to the floor. I today finally examined his shoe that he was wearing at the time (it had sort of been chucked to the side and forgotten with one thing and another) and there is a deep gash that goes almost through the shoe. It is a croc shoe. So if he had been wearing sandals or less thick shoes, his toes would have been very badly cut.

My husband is furious about it all. He feels that if there is a gap that a child could get their foot stuck and crushed in, there is a design flaw in the escalators and they are not safe. He wants to contact a solicitor.

What would you do?

thisisyesterday Thu 19-May-11 21:26:11

i wouldn't do anything.

it was an accident.

basingstoke Thu 19-May-11 21:28:00

When I was younger I saw a horribly nasty accident on an escalator, and have always been very strict about keeping away from the edge. I thought there were warnings and markings on most. Sorry about your DS's foot - sounds very painful.

Grabaspoon Thu 19-May-11 21:28:30

I wouldn't do anything - it was an accident and it's upto you to teach/remind ds not to put his foot anywhere but the the escalator.

mrsgordonfreeman Thu 19-May-11 21:30:20

I hope he feels better soon, that sounds so scary, I'm always terrified of getting dd's pushchair caught at the top of Tube escalators.

I would also contact a solicitor. You are right, there may be a design flaw that needs to be remedied.

I will message you with a firm I'd recommend - not the one I work for...

Pagwatch Thu 19-May-11 21:31:17

There are usually lines on escalators to show you where you should stand in order to keep yourself safe and away from the edges.
If you are using the escalator you are supposed to oversee that they are using it properly.

I doubt it is a design flaw. Most escalators have the brushes and gap at the sides don't they?An escalator is a piece of machinery and should be used carefully.

It is upsetting. Dd fell on an escalator when she was small and it pierced her knee. But it was my fault. I should have been overseeing her properly or used the lift.

But then I hate people lawyering up as their response.
I understand distress in this situation but it appears to have been an accident

stealthsquiggle Thu 19-May-11 21:31:22

It was an accident. Deep sympathy for you and your DS, but I would no more contact a solicitor than I did when I fell down an escalator (when it stopped) and cut my knee through to the bone.

MrsHerculePoirot Thu 19-May-11 21:32:04

Before I had my DD my BIL made me promise not to let her wear crocs on an escalator due to the high number of foot injuries children sustain as crocs provide absolutely no protection to the foot, they just slice easily. I think it was an accident and there isn't anything for you to do. I hope your ds's foot heals soon.

herbietea Thu 19-May-11 21:32:09

Message withdrawn

ConnorTraceptive Thu 19-May-11 21:33:03

I would do nothing. It is not a design flaw it was an accident. Honestly this sort of thing makes me despair.

Hope you little boy is ok

hulababy Thu 19-May-11 21:33:42

I don't think there would be a case, surely? It was accident.

What would you want to happen? For esculators to be redesigned? Or some form of compensation?

My DD got the back of her Crocs caught in a travelator in Florida a couple of years ago. She was 7y and had decided to turn round, depsite knowing not to, etc. She didn't notice it was the end of the travelator. the back of her Croc got caught at the end bit and shredded. Luckily we got her foot out very quickly so no injury. It scared her though, and she was pretty upset, and her shoe had to be thrown away.

Crocs have been involved in such cases quite a bit and made the press when they first came out.

Goblinchild Thu 19-May-11 21:34:14

I had a Maclaren buggy destroyed on the underground escalators once, it was folded up and I had DD on my hip, but the wheel got trapped in the gap.It ripped the wheel off and twisted the frame.
It was a shock to see the amount of damage, but that was classed as an accident and I couldn't claim for the buggy because there were warning lines to show the zones that you should stay inside and warning signs.
I'm so sorry your son was hurt, but escalators are potentially dangerous and it was an accident.

Mumswang Thu 19-May-11 21:36:06

I've always been a bit phobic about escalators because I ha e a vague recollection of an advert or item about the dangers of escalators when I mustve been tiny. It showed a welly (minus) a real foot being sort of sucked in under the brush at the side

Not helpful to your sitch. I'd be inclined to think it was an u fortunate accident and be glad it wasn't worse. Not sure what the alternative would be. Escalators are big bits of moving machinery. Guess it's nevitable there is a slight risk when using them

Hope your Ds feels better soon

silverfrog Thu 19-May-11 21:38:13

oh, what a nasty accident.

but it isn't a design flaw issue - escalators always have a gap at the sides, and brushes.

does anyone else remember the horrific Public Information Broadcast form the 80s, with the pairs of empty wellies travelling up the escalator - and the one too close to the side being dragged in and chewed up? <stuff of nightmares, and I have never got over that one! makes me wince whenever I see anyone not standing sensibly straight on an escalator>

they all used ot have yellow lines painted on them, didn't they?

Happygomummy Thu 19-May-11 21:38:44

You say

"there may be a design flaw that needs remedied"

I hear

"could we make a fast buck?"

It was an accident, move on. Stop helping to create a nanny state. You took your child on a large piece of mechanical machinery (which, for the avoidance of doubt, I would have done too). Your choice, your responsibility. You could have taken the stairs

Second time in one day I've been really fucking riled on MN. Get a grip people.

silverfrog Thu 19-May-11 21:38:44

x-post, mumswang grin

Sirzy Thu 19-May-11 21:39:57

It was an accident.

The gap is surely needed for the escalator to work anyway? If the edges are marked it is up to you to make sure he is being sensible on there surely?

Hope he feels better soon.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 19-May-11 21:40:05

My mum always told me when I was little never to put my foot in the brushes as my foot would be squished - looks like she was right. I hope you sosn's foot is better soon but I hardly think its a case for a solicitor/compensation. Its not as if he has a permenent disfiguration or loss of earnings.

littleducks Thu 19-May-11 21:41:40

I agree that crocs are known to be dangerous on escalators (though the fact is obv not promoted enough if you were unaware)

I suspect that you are supposed to carry such small children, i have seen warning signs suggesting it, though possibly not on the ones by the tube. I too, have let mine stand, something I might rethink after reading this.

It my be worth seeing your GP to see if your son needs more pain relief if he is still so unconfortable, hope he gets better soon

kkey21 Thu 19-May-11 21:42:25

I remember that advert also with the welly and from that alone it has always made me over aware on 'the moving stairs' as my ds calls them.

Sorry to hear about your little boy, how frightening for him.

weblette Thu 19-May-11 21:42:31

The public info film I remember (must be so much older than you lot...) was of a child's doll getting caught. I'm similarly paranoid about my DCs. It was an accident, very sorry your son was hurt.

suzikettles Thu 19-May-11 21:43:50

No it was an accident. I was told by my mum never to put my foot near the brushes at the side. I've told ds the same.

Aren't there usually markers of some kind drawn on the steps?

wigglesrock Thu 19-May-11 21:46:26

I think he was just so distressed that he needed to block it out.

OP no, he's two, he hurt himself, had a big cry and fell asleep. Sounds a bit harsh but it was an accident - he put his foot under the brush, I have 3 dds I always watch where their feet are on escalators. Crocs are woefully inadequate as foot protection, also not the best shoes to be walking huge distances in.

Pagwatch Thu 19-May-11 21:49:00

this is bog standard signage. So if this sign or similar is anywhere in the area then you would have problems establishing any negligence at all

hulababy Thu 19-May-11 21:51:37

I have memories of a clip involving a falling pushchair on an esculator. Stuck with me into adult hood and when I became a parent.

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