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3-year-old girl gets finger severed by escalator in Hokkaido store

34 Comments

A 3-year-old girl shopping with her mother at a Yamada Denki electronics store in Obihiro City, Hokkaido, got her right little finger severed while playing near an ascending escalator, police said Thursday. The girl's pinky got wedged in a space of about 5mm where the belt of the handrail was being stored.

Although the escalator immediately shut down, the girl's fingertip was severed at the second joint. The mother told police she had been keeping an eye on her daughter while shopping in the cell phone aisle, but she became distracted, during which time the accident occurred.

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They've always tried to improve the safety of escalators, but little ones can always find a place to stick their fingers no matter what the object is. Poor little girl. :(

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Although the escalator immediately shut down, the girl’s fingertip was severed at the second joint. The mother told police she had been keeping an eye on her daughter while shopping in the cell phone aisle, but she became distracted, during which time the accident occurred.

The big question is do the police believe her? Even with this excuse, I would be inclined to charge her with something.

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she'll be fine, it will grow back if treated properly. Fingers and toes can regrow on very young kids.

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What are you going to charge her with? Being a dumbass, irresponsible, non vigilant, poor excuse of a parent....

Wonder how old the mother was, age may have a huge factor in the poor little girls pinky being severed at middle of her finger. No way of replacing that one....

who in their right mind lets a 3yr old run around near escalator? Distracted by what, a new function on the i-phone she was purchasing! Your child comes first!!! Phone later!!

Hope when her daughter gets olders, while mom is sleeping...cuts her little finger off, and says "oh, sorry mommy...I was distracted by your phone ringing all night, I couldn't count to 10 on my hands.

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love all these knowitall super parents. just a couple days ago my little girl ( 18 months ) bolted toward the auto door in the hospital where were were attending to her older sister and before I could get there she got her fingers pinched as the door opened and she put her hand on the glass... and I should be charged with negligence? been thru this with 4 previous kids, the oldest in college and all have all their digits n limbs accounted for. vigilance is one thing but kids will be kids. I hope they can do something for the little girl.

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ok! naruhodo! "while playing near an ascending escalator", stupid mom!

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dont have to be a super parent, she was too busy looking at phones then paying attention to her child. simple fact! congrats that you have raised your 4 previouse and glad that nothing serious happened to your little one....the point i was trying to make, and if you see...i said age could have played a factor in this mothers attention to detail............

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poor girl ..hope she recovers soon.

anywayz this calls for more safety related designs when it comes to escalators (and probably elevators as well). Parents shouldn't be negligent ok their kids (especially a 3 year old) !!

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There's negligence and there's kids being kids, especially inquisitive 3 year olds. I watch my son like a hawk but many times he has fallen 1 step behind me (and I literally mean one step) and I instantly turn round to find him legging it in the direction of something fascinatingly dangerous.

I have to say in this instance though, the very fact that she was in the cell phone section, and was watching her daughter play by the escalator suggests she was allowing her to do so without close supervision.

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I agree with Hakujinsensei. I do everything I possibly can to keep my kids safe. But a few weeks ago my 3 year old daughter went into the bathroom, fell into the bath, and was a few seconds away from drowning when I ran in and pulled her out. She was OK. But I almost had a heart attack afterwards. But the point is, there's no telling what kids will do, and even the best parent can't protect them from everything. We adults just have to look out for them.

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Stupid parent

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Sorry for the kid and mother, but is this worthy of "national" news??? I would understand if the escalator company or the store was facing charges of negligence and this was on the verge of being a precedent setting case or something... Should we take this as a good sign, that there are no other events worse than this happening in Japan?

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This is the internet, Tahoochi, we have the space for small stories. And there's nothing like a bit of a safety scare for small children.

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tahoochi is right, this is hardly a national news story. there is just no way to protect every tiny finger n toe from all those moving parts out there in our technologically ripe society. for gods sake, how many kids and adults have lost finger nails and the ends of their fingers in car doors over the last century? there is no mention of how far the cell phones were from the escalator, they are usually just kiosks so it is quite likely she was only a few feet from her kid.

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Fairly typical selection of comments from those who really do know about kids and those who so obviously don't. None of us were there so it is impossible to know exactly what happened. Not sure about what this means though - "where the belt of the handrail was being stored". Stored??

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mom didn't do her homework...

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This is the internet, Tahoochi, we have the space for small stories. And there's nothing like a bit of a safety scare for small children.

Saborichan: What you say may be true if there was a "Small Stories" section, and this story was in it... unfortunately, this story is in the "National" news section.

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Typical Japanese mother - Mother examining cells phones, got distracted, kid playing at escalator, loses finger. She's lucky the kid didn't take a tumble down the escalator and break her neck. And, I don't wanna hear any crap about how difficult it is to watch kids constantly. It's not bloody difficult at all! It's being a responsible parent. I saw a 3 or 4y/o kid run off the train the other while her mother was texting away on her phone. She just managed to get the kid before the door closed cos the little old lady sitting next to her gave her a shunt. Sadly, too many Japanese women don't deserve to have kids. They do deserve a swift kick in the #%$*!!

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Fairly typical selection of comments from those who really do know about kids and those who so obviously don't.

Pretty much yeah. Bunch of people condeming the mom, obviously don't have kids and most likely have never had to deal with them. Myself I don't have kids, but I come from a large family, with quite a few younger brothers, and quite a few neices and nephews. Let me tell you, babysitting little kids, is a nightmare. You turn your back for even a second, and they're gone. Its not negligence or bad parenting, its kids being kids. Parents can't watch their child 24/7.

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Hubby told me about this last night. Apparently her finger got stuck and the safety kicked in, stopping the escalator. Then mum panicked and dragged the child away, pulling the hand and finger apart in the process. Normally they could have got the finger out unharmed if it wasn't for that.

And the place she got her finger stuck was where the hand rail disappears into the ground at the top (as I recall) of the escalator.

The mother wasn't taking proper care of the child. You can't keep an eye on a child in a place like that and talk to a salesperson. That's why you keep hold of them, or put a harness and reins or some other sort of safety contraption on them so you can keep them close.

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I really hate when people chalk things up like this as ''kids being kids'' incidents. Looking at cellphones while your 3 year-old is playing near AN ESCALATOR, does not constitute that.

I know maybe I'll get flamed for it,but when my kids were smalee, I did the harness thing and oh get this:I kept my kids close when I was a a store..hmmm.

Not that hard moms....

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Typo ''small'' not smalee lol

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Or my personal favorite, the moms who's kids are maybe 2 or 3 years-old ,walking way ahead of the kid,and the poor little one trying to catch up. What the is that about? I want to scream at them to get their kid. Anyone could just snatch them and mom none the wiser.

Please pull your heads out of your ,well you know.

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Charge her with reckless endangerment. Parental responsiblity is absolute not conditional. My own kids are well-adjusted, active and healthy, moreover, they have all their body parts.

It just really gets my goat when you hear about these parents whose negligence ends up getting their kid hurt. Moreover, unless the police get involved, the parents will blame anyone but themselves. One of scariest things I have seen in Japan was a 2 year old doing a hulla dance on the top of a table at a kaiten sushi place (I shxt you not). Anyway, the inevitable happened and the kid did a Greg Louganus off the table onto the (fake) marble floor. Who did the parents want to blame? The owners of the store. They even called the police. I couldn7t believe it. I had to speak up, asking the cops if they would arrest dump and dumper for letting their kid dance on table (about 20 years too fast).

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While I believe that you can't be too protective of your children, when at public places in Japan I notice that some parents just let their children run a little too wild. Kids will be kids but there is a point where you have to wheel them back in. Lady was probably too distracted by all the fancy keitai.

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Squally - if you travel the world at all, you'll notice that this happens everywhere....Stupid Parents exists in all parts of the world, despite race, culture and upbringing (look at Paris Hilton - all the money in the world, yet....)

Accidents unfortunately happen - this, sadly, is how improvements are made to the many things we use on a day-to-day basis, like Escalators.

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I agree with Spanish Eyes, but it is very, very difficult to keep an oye on your own kids 24/7! I have 2 of my own, and I wish I had a Filipine made like all them rich folks in Saudi Arabia or Hong Kong.

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My all time favorite is watching a tyke jump up and down on the train seat and then when the train stops the kid falls off the seat. Never fails that the super moms always chew out the train driver. Super moms are either texting, primping, or chatting on the phone relaying such important information as "asouka? hontoni!, or sou-sou-sou." rather than wathcing their child. The worst I've ever seen was a five year old boy fall out of a window on the third floor in NYC. Parents tried to sue the building owners for not having bars across the window. I agree Disillusioned. I have a kid and it wasn't that difficult for my wife and I to keep an eye on her, hold her hand, or me as pops to carry her when she was younger. She's 11 now and my wife and I still have her in arms reach out in public.

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Christ, its the same rehash of posts every time something like this happens. It just isn't that complicated. Watch your kids or they might get into trouble.

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NYC Samurai: I agree - people like to push the blame. If I could add to your last sentence: If they get into trouble - don't look for ways to sue; especially when the blame fall on you or your child.

My Fav: Kid falls off skateboard while trying to rail down flight of stairs. Claims it's the City's fault for not having, "no skateboarding allowed" sign.

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Mom should of been watching her kid ,instead of keitai...end of story...

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she had been keeping an eye on her daughter while shopping

sure she was

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NYC - so true but so not happening here in Japan! rather in shops or out in the streets. DISILLUSIONED - agree (more or less) with that! and the country promotes pregnancies! gah how about SAVING THE CHILDREN that are already HERE! so sad. // re LAWSUITS do not hear of many cases where ppl take advantage of being able to sue a company for "faulty" this or that / i mean look at the escalators now .. ALL have warnings about "croc" type shoes getting caught and causing injury since the parents never warned their kids to stop sticking their toes into the escalator steps (duh i know) ((not to mention it was "in the news" for weeks))

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My heart goes out to the frightened liitle one. Honestly, As a potential mother to be who loves kids with all my heart, my heart breaks alot here in Japan. The mothers really need to be more careful. I have been to many malls and seen where kids are climbing over railings even three floors up. At one time I had to go and tell one little boy in all the Japanese I know "Dame desu" he was going to fall head first to the first floor. I saw no parent even after shoutiing at the kid.

On another occaision, I was at a crossing and a little girl was riding her bike infront of her mother and the mother said nothing even when the child was fast approaching the crossing. I saw that a car was coming at a good enough speed, I nearly had a heart attack, the driver saw the child and stopped. These moms are only humans, but they can do much better.

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