Protect the Ones You Love From Falls
Falling is a natural part of childhood as children learn new skills, test their limits, and explore things around them. While most falls are harmless, some falls can result in serious injury. In fact, falls are the cause of 1.2 million emergency room visits and about 60 deaths each year among children younger than five.
The good news is that you, as a parent or caregiver, can play a major role in preventing serious falls. Supervision is key. Supervise young children at all times, especially around fall hazards. If you need to step away from your child for a short time, put him or her in a safe place, like a crib or playpen.
Follow these tips to protect your child from serious falls from beds, cribs, highchairs, stairs, and windows.
- Do not leave your child alone on a bed or other piece of furniture.
- Do not let your child jump on the bed or other furniture.
- Use a safety rail when your child is moving from a crib to a bed. If using bunk beds, use a safety rail on the top bunk.
- Keep crib sides up when your baby is in his crib.
- Lower the height of the crib mattress when your baby can push up on both hands/all fours. Lower it again when she can sit up or pull to stand.
- Remove toys, bumper pads, mobiles, and other objects from your child’s crib. These items are not recommended for cribs at any stage.
- Stop using the crib when the top rails are less than 3/4 of your child’s height.
- If using an older crib, ensure that it has all needed parts and that it works properly. Regularly inspect the crib to check for safety risks (loosened screws, etc.). Check with the manufacturer for recalls of defective cribs.
- When using a high chair, booster seat, car seat, swing, stroller, shopping cart, or anything else with safety straps follow manufacturers’ instructions.
- Look for special safety features on high chairs, such as a wide base, wheels that lock, and five-point harness straps.
- Use child safety gates at both the top and bottom of the stairs and only usesafety gates that meet current standards.
- When possible, use gates that are mounted to the wall or banister, rather than tension gates. Mounted gates offer the best protection, particularly at the top of the stairs.
- Do not use baby walkers on wheels. A child may fall down the stairs or tip over while using the walker. Use a stationary play center with a stable non- moveable base instead.
- Actively supervise your toddler on the stairs. Hold their hand and teach how to hold the handrail when going up and down stairs.
- Never let children run or play on the stairs. Keep stairs well lit and clutter free at all times.
Following these tips will save your child from many bumps and bruises, and may save their life!