A recent incident in which the fingers of a two-year-old child were stuck in an escalator comb plate at a shopping mall highlights an ongoing problem that has yet to have a meaningful solution.
This is the third reported incident involving escalators this year. Over the past seven years there have been more than 35 reports regarding escalator injuries in Malaysia. Ninety-seven per cent of the victims were young children, and half of the injuries occurred to children aged two to four years.
The Clinical Research Centre Perak conducted a study on escalator safety among Malaysian children aged under five years in November 2016. Six shopping malls in the Kinta region were randomly selected for this study.
Trained researchers observed 258 randomly selected parent-child pairs using escalators and audited their behaviours. A checklist of 15 unsafe behaviours was constructed from accredited escalator guidelines from five different countries, including Canada and the UK.
The study showed that of the 258 parent-child pairs observed, 149 (57.8%) children and 162 (63.8%) parents demonstrated at least one unsafe behaviour when using the escalator.
Some had many unsafe behaviours – 26% of parents and 17% of children had three or more unsafe behaviours. Of concern, four of the children used the escalator unattended.
The infographic shows a breakdown of the unsafe child and adult behaviours.