What is the leading cause of unintentional injury to children under 14? What do kids playing by windows, jumping on beds, and sitting in shopping carts have in common?
If you answered “falls”, you are right. Most falls happen to children in the home and to those under the age of three. The victims of falls from furniture, stairs, and baby walkers are usually toddlers and young children. Boys are two times more likely than girls to die from injuries sustained in falls.
Here are some basic fall prevention tips from Safe Kids:
Window falls: install window guards and stops; keep windows locked and closed when not using; move furniture away from windows.
Car seats, carriers, strollers, changing tables/beds: never leave children alone on changing tables or beds; properly strap kids into car seats, carriers, strollers, swings; place baby carriers on the floor.
Playground equipment: keep in good repair and securely anchored; place equipment over a soft surface; don’t go to playgrounds with concrete or asphalt surfaces.
Furniture tipovers: secure top-heavy furniture to the floor or wall studs; keep kids away from unsecured items, like microwaves, TV’s, fish tanks, bookcases; tie up loose electrical cords.
At the grocery store: don’t place an infant carrier on top of a shopping cart; place kids in a stroller, wagon, or front pack instead of using a shopping cart; if using a shopping cart, be sure that the safety belt is used and securely fastened.
Other tips for the home: use non-slip floor rugs; put non-slip mats or decals in the bathtub; don’t let kids play on high porches, decks, balconies, or stairs; be sure that safety gates are attached to the wall at the top of stairs.
Remember, constant supervision is the key to keeping your children safe! Tell your kids what my mother told me many times: “Don’t jump on the bed!”
For more information, please see the following articles:
Falls: The Reality
Falls Prevention Fact Sheet