What to do when a kid gets his head stuck in a gate


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Lateral thinking. The kid’s body was stuck in the gate, not the head.

(‘metal dilates when you heat it up, right?’)

I guess kids, like cats, can fit through anything their head can fit through. A brief wikinvestigation of the subject suggests that this may be because the clavicle of the human body doesn’t fuse until the late teens/early 20’s. Cats have “floating clavicles” their entire lives.

This isn’t “very funny”. It’s an unhappy kid in a bad place.

But then, most jokes are about other people’s suffering and misfortune.

The last few seconds are funny. It’s a no-longer-unhappy kid released from a bad place, in a creative way. The rest is sort of needed for dramatic tension.

And I suspect it was staged that way. When the kid stepped out, it looked as if he’d practiced. Still funny.

You forgot to say, “I am concerned.”

When I was a kid there was a TV show about a paramedic team called Emergency. One episode had a kid who stuck his head in a gate, and I swear it gave me the willies for months.


It’s just astonishing how much our preconceptions bring to a problem. Having assumed the child put his head through in the first place, I felt like a dolt when I saw the solution to the puzzle.

It reminds me of the apocryphal story about a truck being stuck at a bridge, less than an inch too high to pass through… until a child suggests letting the air out of the tires. The intuitively obvious solution is often anything but.


Somebody get that child from your apocryphal story over to that bridge, and the clever helper in this video also.


Not sure that clavicles have anything to do with this one, since the child turned to get through, clavicles fused or unfused and all. But now I do have a vision of snake-like toddlers collapsing their clavicles to swarm through tiny holes in my house as their jaws unhinge to take large bites. (their jaws unhinge too right? until they fuse?).


My gosh that’s it! Why didn’t they just let a little air out of the kid’s tires?


This kid got his head stuck in a gate. You won’t believe what happened next.

Try this one simple trick to get a kid’s head unstuck from a gate.

Residents in [your location] are shocked at how this kid escaped from a predicament!

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I thought of a car scissor jack right away, so now I feel dumb.


Nonono, you need to compress the child, not elevate their height…


Exactly! Get out the Makita and after a simple trepanation procedure the kid should just slide out.


No need to get that complex. Just align the head so the overlap is the smallest, whack it with a 2x4 using the wider part to spread the load over larger area, and it will pop back through. If it got there, it has to be able to go back through the same route.

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I’ll bet you are just a GAS at parties.

Only when people laugh at unhappy kids. Otherwise, I’m pretty solid.

That happened to my daughter when she was young. We were at a railing looking at the view beyond. My daughter was shorter than the railing but looking through it. Suddenly her head went through before we noticed but we couldn’t figure out how to get her out. There was a drop on the other side so ‘passing on through’ wasn’t an option. Finally the fire department came and cut one of the bars with a bolt cutter-like thing. I definitely got a sense from them like they were sizing us up trying to figure out if we had done something wrong as parents, but finally they left. When she got older I used to point out the weld-spot where it had been repaired whenever we passed that location again.

Edit: I found a photo from the very spot. We lived nearby so we were there often.


If the pic showed the weld, it would have happened.

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*weight limit applies

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