Example: [Collected via e-mail, 2006]
Now - for every one of you that has a home paper shredder with an "auto on" feature, I want you to go turn it off and unplug the paper shredder right now.
Because night before last I was presented with a paper shredder containing most of the tongue, ripped out by the base, and a very pretty sweet
She always watched the paper go into the shredder, she thought it fascinating. The "auto on" feature means the shredder sits there waiting for something to get placed into it. Like an inquisitive tongue.
I told them, "Dogs can do fine without a tongue, they have to learn to drink and eat differently", but the owners didn't want to go there. The look in her eyes said, "I'm sorry, I guess I wasn't supposed to do that, it's all my fault". We all cried.
I cried when I read this, myself. In subsequent posts Beth says she has learned that dogs who have lost more than half their tongues *don't* do as well as she had been taught. According to the veterinary literature it is also possible for animals to be injured other places than
She didn't mention any human injuries, but I can't imagine that a toddler would be immune from either curiosity or injury.
Please be vigilant!! This is not the 1st time I have heard of this happening.
Origins: While Barbara and I were away from home for a few days recently, we received a playful
In any case, the experience reminded us that we (like many other people) now have in our home a variety of machines that once were typically found only in business offices. Although some people manage to find ways to injure themselves with just about anything (even something as seemingly innocuous as a fax machine), paper shredders can pose an especial hazard — they're made to destroy documents rather than generate them, and (due in large part to concerns about identity theft) more and more of them are being purchased for home use, where their shredding blades represent a risk not just to careless adults, but to curious children and inquisitive pets as well.
In 2005, for example, the Spokesman Review reported:
The agency received 31 reports involving finger amputations and other finger injuries from paper shredders from January 2000 to December 2003.
"He screamed and then was begging me to get his hands out of this machine, 'Please Mommy, Please Mommy, get my hand out.' [He was] just screaming and crying and begging," Broadfoot said.
Lisa rushed Talan to the hospital with the shredder still attached.
"They started cutting the blades because there was no other way to get his fingers undone," she said. "It was like he could feel it. He just started screaming again and I'm holding him and trying to explain to him that it's going to be OK. It's going to be OK."
Talan ended up losing three of his fingers.
How did it happen? Hallie was feeding paper into a shredder in her home when her fingers got caught in its powerful blades. According to her father, Matt, "it grabbed her fingers and just began pulling."
And Hallie's not the only one. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a safety alert after receiving
Mr. Mouritsen is an accounting professor in Salt Lake City, Utah who often works at home. He says he had just opened the shredder for the first time and after using it, left the room briefly. Hallie, who was just two, went into the room with her older sister.
"The next thing I know, while I'm making dinner, my five year-old is yelling, she's stuck, she's stuck!" he told Inside Edition's Investigative Reporter Matt Meagher.
Hallie's wounds took months to heal. Her dad still chokes up remembering Hallie's reaction the day the bandages came off. "She went like this with her hand" (hiding his left hand). "She couldn't even look at it. She asks us to this day, when are my fingers going to grow back?"
And he probably never will.
The 22-year-old was sitting on his couch in his south Spokane home watching television when his
"I ran into the room ... she was pulling so hard and the thing was
In the chaos of trying to help his injured dog, Forney's pinky finger was bitten off at the first joint, and another finger was fractured by the bite.
"I grabbed her head to try and get her to calm down, and she bit me," Forney said. "She ran out of the room and I just lost it. It looked like a murder scene in my
Forney went to the emergency room, and his mixed-breed dog, Alice Lane, went to a local pet emergency clinic, where she was euthanized.
For one dog owner, it was a horrifying experience. Sandra Clarke of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina told us when she was at home working on
Some veterinarians maintain that serious shredder accidents involving animals are rare, but the frequency of occurrence is difficult to estimate since there has not been any systematic effort to keep track of such injuries. Regardless, the subject merits attention since the potential for accidents (involving both people and pets) will likely continue to grow as more and more shredders make their way into households, and the likelihood of injury can be mostly eliminated by following a few simple precautions:
- Try to place your shredder where it is not accessible to children or pets.
- Turn off (or unplug) your shredder when you are not using it.
- Never allow children to operate your shredder, even with adult supervision.
- Keep your hands and fingers as far from the shredder opening as possible when feeding material into it.
- Be careful to secure or remove ties, necklaces, bracelets, loose-fitting clothing, and long hair before using your shredder.
- Avoid putting thicker material (such as food wrappers, product packaging, and padded envelopes) through your shredder.
| Paper Shredder Dangers to Kids, Pets |
| Paper Shredders Can Be a Danger to Children and Pets |
Finney, Michael. "Paper Shredder Dangers to Kids, Pets." KGO-TV [San Francisco]. 3 November 2005. Leaming, Sara. "Paper Shredder Leads to Nightmare." The [Spokane] Spokesman Review. 2 March 2005. Inside Edition. "Paper Shredders Can Be a Danger to Children and Pets." 30 March 2006. Internet Broadcasting Systems. "Paper Shredders Can Be Dangerous Risk Around Home." WRAL.com. 10 April 2006.