Did you know that most injuries to children less than 5 years of age, happen in the home. Falls are the leading cause of injury in the home. Falling from a bed and falling on or from stairs are the most common causes of fall injuries in young children. Over 13,000 Albertan children were seen in emergency departments in 2013 for injuries from falls. Some of these injuries were severe and lead to lifelong disability or death.
Take these important steps to help prevent young children from falling in your home:
- Use wall mounted baby gates at the top of all stairs. Use either wall or pressure mounted baby gates at the bottom of stairs too.
- Place baby seats and child safety seats on the floor, never on a high surface such as a counter, couch or washing machine.
- Keep one hand on your baby whenever he is on a high surface. Don’t leave him even for one second.
- Use the safety straps in your baby’s high chair, baby seat and baby carrier.
- Secure heavy furniture including TV’s, bookcases, and dressers to the wall.
- Use safety latches that only allow the window to open 10 cm (4 inches) on all windows above ground level.
- As soon as your child shows signs of being able to crawl out of their crib, move her to a toddler bed.
- Use door knob covers or locks to prevent children from entering unsafe areas.
Preventing falls involves a combination of active supervision and safe environments.
In general, active adult supervision means being within sight and reach at all times, paying close attention and anticipating hazards when your child is playing or exploring. Supervision should be attentive, close by, and continuous.
For more information on falls see:
Babies don't bounce-Stage 1
Babies don't bounce-Stage 2
Kids don't bounce-Stage 3
Information provided by the Provincial Injury Prevention Program, Population, Public and Aboriginal Health www.albertahealthservices.ca/injuryprevention.asp