Study: Home paper shredders dangerous

February 6, 2006

Researchers at the New York University School of Medicine say home paper shredders are posing a risk of serious injuries to toddlers and pets.

"It's a dangerous piece of machinery and leaving it in the home unattended and accessible to young children could result in a serious hand injury," said Dr. George Foltin, associate professor of pediatrics and emergency medicine and director of the pediatric emergency department at Bellevue Hospital Center. "If you have one, it needs to be unplugged and out of children's reach."

The report also summarizes the findings of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's recent investigation into home paper shredder injuries. The article discusses several points of concern including the ages of injured. Twenty-two (71 percent) of the 31 home paper shredder injuries studied involved children under 12 years of age and most of the injuries that resulted in amputations occurred mostly to children under 6 years of age.

In anticipation of the growing risk, researchers concluded the article with a call to manufacturers to redesign the shredders to make them safer and to display clear warnings directly on the machines.

The study appears in the February issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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