Splitting wood and a piece broke off grazing my kid!!!

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Wood Pirate, Sep 14, 2009.

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  1. Wood Pirate

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    My son loves to play on or near the unsplit wood pile in my yard. He ran over there today and while he was playing I figured I would split a few maple rounds with the maul. He always likes to watch me split the wood.

    I alway make sure he is a good distance away just in case. Well this time there was a log that had a partial chain saw cut in it. When I hit it a small chunk flew off +- 30' and hit my son in the head. I appeared to have hit pretty hard even though he was far away. How the hell it managed to hit him in the head from such a distance I do not know. He started crying immediatly. Big scrape on the side of his head.

    This happened about five hours ago. He is fine (besides the scrape and a little swelling) and is sound asleep right now. I on the other hand feel like sh!t. I probably wouldnt care as much if it was anyone else but I feel bad having it happen to my own son.

    Anything this unusual ever happen to one of you guys?
     
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  2. Sleepy

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    Wow, I hope he is OK. Are you sure he doesn't have a concussion? It may not be good to let him sleep until you get him checked out.

    Thanks for posting this. It may save someone else being injured.

    This is my first year cutting and splitting wood and though my kids are grown and gone, I have been nervous when my wife or the dog is nearby. I will be more careful from now on.
     
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  3. KeepItNatural

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    Yes, my splitting buddy swings his axe from his right side, up over his head and then down which brings a curved striking line. As a result there have been plenty of times where fragments have shot off to the side. I've been hit once in the leg, and it smarted pretty good- I imagine if i was a child and took a headshot it'd have done similar damage.
     
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  4. gzecc

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    Man, What did your wife say! "GD wood! Don't you have enough?"
     
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  5. wendell

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    I would suggest you wake him up and make sure he is OK. A concussion can have delayed symptoms and they can be serious.

    If it just grazed him I am sure he is fine but you need to make sure.
     
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  6. LLigetfa

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    +1
    Wake him up every 4 hours.
     
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  7. gibson

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    Yeah, I would check on him while he's sleeping, but you were gonna do that anyway. He'll be fine and you guys will be having a beer someday and he'll remind you of when you nearly knocked his head off splitting wood. If I had a nickel for everytime my dad almost killed me (by mistake of course!) :)
     
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  8. Tony H

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    Another vote to keeping a close eye just in case.
    I have shot off some mean pieces when hand splitting once put a huge dent in my shed from about 10' with a chunk. One thing I have seen is putting up a shield of sorts using a 4x8 plywood sheet with a support stand on the back so it stands up on it side making a barrier between you and the kids.
     
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  9. jebatty

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    You are very fortunate much worse did not happen. Children and other spectators have no place around any power equipment. Operators and helpers need to wear protective head, eye, hand and ear protection, at a minimum. Flying splits (often caused by a knot), shards, splinters, slivers are common. Some you never even see, but they will find something to hit or penetrate -- let it not be a person.
     
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  10. Duetech

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    Kids will be kids and if you put a wall up they will just find a way to look around the edge. I have learned to go easy on the partial chainsaw cuts when using the maul splitting but have still taken some shin shots a couple of times. When my daughter was almost four I was cutting down a tree and she decided she wanted to see how Dad cut down a tree. She came out of the house and took off accross the field and stopped within striking distance of where the tree would have fallen. My wife realized my daughter was not in the house and saw her crossing the field. I was using the saw and never heard my wife yelling. I was almost at the "giving point" on my last cut when I looked up and saw my daughter come to a stop and my wife running wide eyed across the field yelling. I wanted to chew the wife and my daughter out. Thankfully I always try to look around before I make the final cut on any tree I drop. Things can happen though and through the most innocent of things. A friend lost his mother as she was trying enter a parked car. She simply miss stepped off the curb to get in the parked car and fell and hit her head on the curb and had a head/spinal trauma. She was in good health. Kids take head shots just playing. It makes us feel bad when we are involved though. He will probably forget this or lose it to a cubbly hole in his mind but you will probably not forget. Life goes on. Glad he's all right.
     
  11. granpajohn

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    ^JE....
    He was using a hand maul. Not "power equipment".
    Remain calm.
     
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  12. blades

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    Later on you will want to use that mall on the him. Which may or may not allow some semblance of sense to seep in to his cranium. Not that there will be any retention though.
     
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  13. edthedawg

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    Well I thank you for the story - 30 feet sure sounds like "far enough away" to be safe...

    My 7 yr old loves to help me bring wood up front from the stacks in back during the winter. She helps load the wagon, pulls it up to the front of the house, and unloads it. I'll usually have a few big pieces to hand split down. I always make sure she stands about 15 feet away, wears gloves, and has on safety glasses whenever I swing the axe. Might nudge her back a few and/or keep her behind me more often...
     
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  14. mayhem

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    How else would you swing an axe? Seriously. I have no idea who else anyone could use a handsplitting tool and get enough force for it to be effective.

    My daughter likes to watch me split too. I always have her stand well off to the side and at an angle offset to how I'm splitting.

    I can honestly say though, that while I have had chunks got blown off to the side, there is just absolutely no way I've ever had anything fly off anywhere enar 30 feet...and at the 30' mark still be going hard and fast enough to do any kind of damage to anything it hits. To the OP, try wrapping a bungee cord around your rounds to hold the splits as you make them...or a tire. It'll help keep them on the stump and not in your yard.
     
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  15. wendell

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    How is he doing?
     
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  16. smokinj

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    +1 never seen one fly that far before
     
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  17. katwillny

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    Wow, Hope he is doing well. Next time he gets hit on the head by anyting (hopefuly not wood) be sure to keep him awake for a long time. its not good for him to sleep just in case he gets a concution. Poor little buddy.
     
  18. atomichawg

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    My nephew's friend lost a finger while using a hydraulic splitter. He got careless, and the blade caught his glove sheared off a finger. Actually, he was lucky not to only lose one!
     
  19. TreePapa

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    I've had chips and entire splits fly when hand-splitting. Depends on the wood. Occaisonally been hit in the shins by said flying bits. Didn't get hurt near as bad as when the split came flyin' off the hortz. (rental) splitter. THAT hurt!

    I do try to make sure no one is nearby when I'm splittin' w/ hand or power equipment. With the ax and maul, though, I'm just as concerned about the tool itself flying outta my hands (has happened). 30 feet has always seemed like more than enough. Now I know better.

    I also try to keep wife, daughter (now 18), and others away when I'm using other power tools, such as circ. saw, sawzall, grinder, etc. Just as much to protect me from inadvertent interference (and resulting injury) as to protect them.

    Peace,
    - Sequoia
     
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  20. Backwoods Savage

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    Maple for sure is one of the types of wood that will split and fly. We are always watching when splitting it. That being said, many times I've seen wood fly that far and farther. We usually just laugh it off and yes, both of my sons were hit by flying wood. It really makes a big bang when it hits the aluminum siding of the house too!

    Even worse is when we used to use the buzz saw. It's pretty hard to not get some flying stuff. I recall one time when I was working in the sawmill that a piece got into the circular saw and we figured it flew a good 100 yards! Almost everyone who worked there had a scar or two.

    Hope the little one is okay and I fully expect he is. I'll bet you'll be even more careful now!
     
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  21. mn_jon

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    Well I wouldn't worry too much over it. Most brain injuries are from really hard hits that often have a loss of consciousness. Kids bump their heads ALL THE TIME. That is why we now have helmets for things like biking, skiing, and rollerblading. The important thing is he didn't get hurt and you all know to keep even more distance. This could happen to anybody. My 3 year old knows to stay on the other side of the garage but sometimes wanders around the corner. Lately he's been in the garage and watching through the window. I suppose it's safer that he watches from inside. As you kid gets bigger, you could pick up a helmet with eye shield. I know my son loves to wear the ear protectors, he'd probably really get a kick out of the helmet.



    Jon
     
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