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). Little bumps will happen but these brave expeditions shouldn’t result in something more serious.
Unintentional falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for children in the United States. Unintentional falls result in nearly 2.5 million injuries annually that require treatment in an emergency room, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. These injuries resulted from activities such as climbing on furniture, playing near an unsecured window, falling down stairs or playing on playgrounds.
• 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.
• Keep babies and young kids strapped in when using high chairs, infant carriers, swings or strollers. When placing your 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 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, secure your TV and furniture, and then never worry about it again.
• Take your kids to playgrounds with shock-absorbing surfaces such as rubber, synthetic turf, sand, pea gravel, wood chips or mulch. If your child falls, the landing will be more cushioned than on asphalt, concrete, grass or dirt.
If you are in need of household safety products to keep kids safe from falls, visit the 6th Floor Safety Center for a home assessment and leave with a limited number of FREE products.
For more information on safety initiatives at Children’s, visit www.chp.edu/injury-prevention