How to Avoid Falls and Protect Your Little One from Serious Injury

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avoid falls

Babies and small children are known to test the limits, but how do you help them avoid falls and serious injuries? Here are some tips to keep your kiddos safe. 

From the moment your baby starts to crawl, the world is a magical place filled with new adventures and discoveries. From a child’s perspective, everything is a potential mountain to climb (that giant bookshelf), obstacle to overcome (those pesky stairs) or mysterious place to investigate (anywhere beyond the safety gate).

While little bumps will happen, consider this: Unintentional falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for children in the United States.

Below are some tips to follow so these brave expeditions don’t result in something more serious.

Avoid Falls With These Top Tips

  • Screens are meant to keep bugs out, not children in. Properly install window guards to prevent unintentional window falls. For windows above the first floor, include an emergency release device in case of fire.
  • If you have windows that can open from both the top and bottom, make a habit of opening just the top.
  • Move chairs, cribs and other furniture away from windows.
  • Keep babies and young kids strapped in when using high chairs, infant carriers, swings or strollers. When placing a baby into a carrier, remember to place the carrier on the floor, not on top of a table or other furniture.
  • Use approved safety gates at the tops and bottoms of stairs and attach them to the wall, if possible. Remember to read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels to make sure you have the right gate for your needs. Not all gates are safe for use at the top of stairs.
  • Secure TVs and furniture to the wall using mounts, brackets, braces, anchors or wall straps to prevent tip-overs. These kinds of accidents happen more than you might think, so take a few minutes to secure TVs and furniture and then never worry about it again.
  • Avoid falls on floors by using anti-slip rugs and mats or decals in the bathtub or shower.
  • Don’t leave a child alone in a shopping cart. If possible, use shopping carts that have a wheeled child carrier that is permanently attached. Some of these look like cars attached to the cart.
  • Take kids to playgrounds with shock-absorbing surfaces such as rubber, synthetic turf, sand, pea gravel, wood chips or mulch. If a child falls, the landing will be more cushioned than on asphalt, concrete, grass or dirt.

For more information and resources about protecting kids on the road, at home and at play, visit SafeKids.org.

 

Contributed by SafeKids Washoe County, Led by Renown Children’s Hospital.

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