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.