Hand Safety at Home

Home is the place of safety for all of us. It is largely true, but sometimes injury can happen to us in our own safe home. As per statistics in the West, home injuries account for nearly 40-50% of the total injuries seen in the society. In India, data from some studies show injuries statistics similar to the West.

The injuries can be due to two broad kinds, intentional and unintentional (or accidental). The severity of injuries can range from fatal, non-fatal but disabling and minor non-disabling ones.


Even though all parts of the body can get injured, many injuries happen in the hands. Children get injuries two to three times more commonly than adults. The common causes are injury from door/window edges, kitchen appliances, sharp objects and running parts of stationed machines.

Let us first understand the importance of our hands. We know that all our day-to-day activities are done using our hands and any injury to it will leave a functional loss in our routine.

There are two main ways by which we use our hands – the first is a fine grasp and the next is a power grip. The fine movements require the use of our fingertip called as pulp, and an injury to this will result in loss of ability to do fine movements and also to feel objects. Any injury to the other parts of hand, especially by sharp objects like glass or knife, can result in cut of nerves and tendons and cause loss of function and power grip.

Children and sometimes adults get injured by accidentally keeping their fingers in door wedges. By large, this is the commonest mode of injury. Adults commonly injure their hands while using kitchen appliances especially the mixer (or mixie) which we commonly use to make chutneys. Placing the hand over the mixer jar while it is working can accidentally cause injury to fingers. Another common cause is bike chain injuries, where one attempts to clean the bike chain, while making the wheel move in a stationary vehicle. All these injuries require immediate referral to a hospital with expertise in managing hand injuries, because it is important to do the right treatment at the first attempt to achieve best results and early recovery. Sharp injuries with knives and glass although less common, can sometimes occur. Any injury by a sharp object, however small it is, should not be ignored and it has to be examined by a specialist doctor.

After reading through the above paragraphs, it would be clear that it is always better to prevent the injury in the first place. It is wise to follow some simple precautions like the below.

  • Make sure all the doors and windows at your home have a stopper/blocker.
  • Purchase a mixer with a lock in the jar and never keep your hand on it while it is working.
  • Do not attempt cleaning moving parts like bike chain or motor.
  • Keep sharp objects out of reach of children and handle glass with care.
  • Use the knife in a clean stable surface in a well-lit room.
  • If an injury happens in spite of precautions, it should not be ignored by doing simple home dressing.

The best outcome can be obtained by early examination by a specialist and appropriate treatment.

Remember, “Home Sweet Home!” should also be a “HOME SAFE HOME!”.


Dr. Sathish Manivel
Consultant Plastic and Aesthetic Surgeon
Kauvery Hospital, Chennai