Preventing Injuries from Falls Date: Jun 20, 2018

Babies and infants can be wiggly and roll around easily; toddlers and small children can climb their way into trouble. Protect your children from falls by paying special attention to windows, cribs and beds, different areas of the house, and outdoor playgrounds:

Windows

  • Install safety bars on upper-story windows. These bars must be childproof but easy for adults to open in case of fire.
  • If you don’t have safety bars on your windows, close and lock windows when children are present. For ventilation, open windows from the top, and provide adult supervision.
  • Keep furniture away from windows to prevent children from climbing onto sills.
  • Don’t rely on window screens to keep children from falling out of windows.

Cribs and beds

  • Keep side rails up on cribs.
  • Never leave a baby unattended on a changing table or bed. When choosing a changing table, opt for one with two-inch guardrails.
  • Always secure safety belts on changing tables, strollers, carriages, and high chairs. Be sure to strap a small child securely into the seat of a supermarket shopping cart.
  • Do not put a child under age six on the top bunk of a bunk bed. Attach guardrails to the side of the top bunk.

Around the house

  • Attach protective padding or other specially designed covers to corners of coffee tables, furniture, and countertops with sharp edges.
  • Install hardware-mounted safety gates at the top and bottom of every stairway (pressure-mounted gates are not as secure). Avoid accordion gates, which can trap a child’s head.
  • Clean up any spills around the home immediately.
  • Keep stairways clear.
  • Make sure there are no loose rugs on the floor. Put specially designed pads under rugs to hold them securely to the floor’s surface.
  • Apply nonskid strips to the bottoms of bathtubs.

Outdoors

  • Be sure outdoor playground equipment is safe, with no loose parts or rust.
  • Playground surfaces should be soft to absorb the shock of falls. Good surface materials include sand and wood chips: avoid playgrounds with concrete and packed dirt.
  • Never allow a child to play on a trampoline, even with adult supervision.