Falls are by far the most common causes of accidents in the home. They account for 44 percent of all children’s accidents. Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for all children ages 0 to 18. Every day, approximately 8,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for fall-related injuries. This adds up to almost 2.8 million children each year.
Most falls involve tripping over on the same level. However, the most serious consequences result from falls between two levels, such as falling out of a pram or high chair or falling from a bed. The worst injuries are sustained when a child falls from a great height or lands on something hard, sharp or hot.
Many accidents are caused by horseplay involving pushing, shoving and wrestling. Children have also died or have been seriously injured by heavy objects such as furniture and televisions being pushed or pulled over them. Sets of drawers, in a child’s eyes, make ideal climbing frames but, if unsecured, they pull over easily.
Play safely. Falls on the playground are a common cause of injury. Check to make sure that the surfaces under playground equipment are safe, soft, and well maintained (such as wood chips or sand, not dirt or grass).
Make your home safer. Use home safety devices, such as guards on windows that are above ground level, stair gates, and guard rails. These devices can help keep a busy, active child from taking a dangerous tumble.
Keep sports safe. Make sure your child wears protective gear during sports and recreation. For example, when in-line skating, use wrist guards, knee and elbow pads, and a helmet.
Supervision is key. Supervise young children at all times around fall hazards, such as stairs and playground equipment, whether you’re at home or out to play.