Keep your child safe from falls

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
  • Vomiting
  • 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.