5-year old boy crushed by escalator - safety tips on escalator use with kids

5-year old boy crushed by escalator - safety tips on escalator use with kids

A parent's worst nightmare came true when their 5-year old son's body was crushed by an escalator. Find out what happened as well as must-know safety tips when travelling with kids on escalators. Keep reading...

We all use escalators quite regularly and we think nothing of taking our children on them. Some of us even let our older kids travel alone on them. But after reading this story and seeing the related images (warning: graphic images), you may want to re-think escalator safety as you know it.

boy crushed by escalator

Lim Yuan Hong’s torso stuck in the gap where the escalator step collapsed
Image from news.asiaone.com

In a horrifying incident, a 5-year old boy was crushed and seriously injured after he jumped up and down on a moving escalator at a mall in North Jakarta.

According to a report on www.news.asiaone.com, the incident took place on Dec 27 2013 at around 9pm, in the Pluit Village Mall, Penjaringan, Indonesia.

Little Lim Yuan Hong had been playing on the escalator when he suddenly fell and had his body pinned inside the structure. Reports say the case is still under investigation and police have questioned a number of witnesses at the scene, including mall management. It is suspected the accident may have been caused by the escalator step collapsing.

boy crushed by escalator

The boy’s horrific injuries
Image from news.asiaone.com

One of the first questions that came to my mind after reading about this shocking incident was why the child had been allowed to play on the escalator in the first place. ​Many Netizens share these sentiments, with some blaming the boy’s parents for not supervising their kid well.

Here are some opinions on the incident:

“Omg! What is the mother doing.?”

“Children so young should not play with escalator unless supervised by their parents.”

“Sometimes with parents they also ignore their kids and never pay attention. “

RELATED: 6-year old girl falls from high-rise apartment


Here in Singapore, we’d be hard-pressed to find a shopping mall that does not have an escalator. Usually, most escalators are well-maintained, and repaired or replaced if faults are found. But these are certainly not reasons for us to be complacent about our children’s safety when using escalators.

Why, you may ask? Because there have been reports of kids having narrow shaves with serious injuries, maybe even death…right here in Singapore.

boy crushed by escalator

A little boy’s head got stuck between the top of the escalator and the ceiling at a Singapore shopping mall. Never let your child poke his or head head over the railing while travelling on a moving escalator to avoid accidents such as this.
Image from www.thestraitstimes.com

According to The Straits Times, a child’s head got stuck in between the ceiling and the escalator at Junction 8 Mall in December last year. Viewers at the scene believe the incident occurred because the child popped his head out while the escalator was moving.

Thankfully the child was not severely injured, but just imagine how bad the injuries could have potentially been.

In another incident last year, this time at the Buona Vista retail complex, a little girl escaped serious injuries after her shoe got stuck between escalator steps.

boy crushed by escalator

You can see how the little girl’s shoe is stuck between the steps of the escalator. Luckily the child’s father had noticed what was happening and managed to get his daughter’s foot out of the shoe, preventing what could have been a horrible injury.
Image from www.thestraitstimes.com

So how do you keep your child safe from accidents such as these when using escalators? Here are some useful tips to keep in mind.

  • Hold children firmly with one arm or hold child’s free hand; 
  • Never let your child play near or on an escalator. This includes doing things such as poking his head over the railing as the escalator moves;
  • Do not take your stroller with your child in it on the escalator even if he/she is strapped in. Use a lift or ask someone to help you carry the stroller up/down the stairs;
  • Ensure your child is standing on the middle of the step and not close to the side or the narrow gap where the steps disappear into one another;
  • If your child’s shoes have laces, check that they are firmly tied up before he steps on – likewise with long straps, ribbons etc;
  • Do not let your child sit on the moving steps;
  • When stepping off, make sure your child steps over the comb fingers without letting his feet slide off the end of the escalator. Also move away from the escalator with your child quickly as other people may be getting off behind you.

We’d love to hear your thoughts about this story as well as any other safety tips you may have while travelling with kids on escalators…do leave a comment and share your opinion.

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