We all want our kids to be physically active and to enjoy their playtime while still being safe. According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for all children ages 0 to 19. This statistic holds true to our data here at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger; Fall-related injuries are a leading reason for treatment in the emergency department at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.
When should you seek medical attention for a child who is injured from a fall?
Follow these general guidelines:
- Persistent pain or disability (for example, inability to walk) for 10 –15 minutes after the injury
- Change in mental status
- Persistent or worsening headache
How to be safe in the home
- Keep chairs, cribs and other furniture that children may climb on away from windows.
- Use safety devices on windows such as window guards or locks.
- Use approved and appropriate safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs.
- Use non-slip mats and rugs in the bathroom and throughout your home.
- Properly anchor furniture by using anti-tip devices.
- Remove electric wires or cords on the floor.
- Keep hallways clear and well-lit.
How to be safe on the go
- Always strap baby into a highchair, swing, changing table, stroller or shopping cart.
- Never leave a baby alone on a changing table, highchair or any furniture.
- Keep an eye out for slick or slippery surfaces your child may walk on.
How to be safe during play
- Use playgrounds with wood chips, synthetic turf, rubber or sandy surfaces. Avoid asphalt.
- Make sure playground equipment is safe before your child goes to play.
- Use properly fitted safety gear for recreational and sporting activities.
- Use stationary walkers or activity centers. Do NOT use ones with wheels.
- Always supervise children who use a trampoline —enclosures can help prevent injuries from falls off trampolines.
Lindsay Bass, BSN, RN, is the Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention & Outreach Coordinator at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. She is a Child Passenger Safety Technician and leads the Southeast Coalition for Safe Kids and Children’s Hospital at Erlanger Safe & Sound program.
If your child suffers a toy-related injury, Children’s Hospital at Erlanger offers comprehensive emergency services, including care designed specifically with the needs of kids in mind.