Preventing Fall Down Injuries to Children

Children, for various reasons, fall down with alarming frequency.  Such accidents can cause a child serious and sometimes permanent physical injuries.  I found the following provided courtesy of The Riley Hospital for Children which provides information on how to protect your child from fall down injuries, in a multitude of contexts:

Prevent falls from furniture/child care products:

  • Don’t leave babies alone on beds, changing tables and sofas.
  • Always strap your child into the high chair or stroller.
  • When your child can sit alone, place crib mattress in a lower position. Move mattress to lowest position when child can get to standing position.
  • Never use baby walkers on wheels.
  • Pad sharp edges of furniture, especially coffee tables.

Prevent falls from high places:

  • Never leave a child alone on a balcony, fire escape, or high porch.

Prevent falls from windows:

  • Move beds, chairs and other furniture away from windows.
  • Do not rely on screens to protect a child.
  • Do not allow children to play around windows or patio doors.
  • Install window guards or keep windows closed to protect children.

Prevent falls on stairs:

  • Place safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs to protect children under 2.
  • Keep stairs clear of clothes, toys, etc.
  • Keep doors leading to basement or attic locked.
  • Make sure handrails are sturdy and secure. Check regularly for loose posts.

Prevent falls on the playground:

  • Supervise young children on swing sets, slides, and other playground equipment.
  • Avoid playgrounds with asphalt, concrete, grass and soil surfaces.

Prevent falls on slippery surfaces:

  • Beware: the bathroom and kitchen are the most common rooms for falls.
  • Immediately mop up any water on the floor.
  • Use a rubber mat in the bathtub.
  • Use throw rugs with nonskid backings.
  • Consider installing nonskid stair runners.

Prevent falls from shopping carts:

  • Always strap your child into the seat. Do not use a cart without a safety strap.
  • Do not allow your child to ride in the part of the cart where the groceries are placed.
  • Do not allow your child to stand in the cart.
  • Do not leave your child alone or move more than an arm’s length from the cart.

Prevent falls on escalators:

  • Make sure your child always holds onto handrails.
  • Do not allow your child to lean against the side panels or sit on the escalator steps.
  • Keep your child’s hands, feet and clothing away from moving parts and side panels.
  • Do not allow your child to run or play on escalator.
  • Do not allow your child to walk down the “up” escalator or up the “down” escalator.
  • Use an elevator, not an escalator, for a child in a stroller.

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