Babies and young children are prone to falls. Prevention of falls is all about monitoring the development of the child and making the necessary adjustments in the house and play environment as he/she grows. Common accidents include head injuries, bruises and even fractures.
Falls are the most common cause of accidents in all age groups. As infants and young children start to move around more, they are likely to suffer bumps and falls. Injuries to children often occur when you least expect it since they grow and develop new skills quickly.
It is important to keep the child safe by observing the new skills he/she is learning and new places that he/she can reach and then make adjustments.
Remember that falls are part of growing up. Most only result to bumps and bruises but some might require a trip to a doctor.
Additional precautions for prevention of falls
Always check for tripping hazards on the floor and remove them such as the following:
- Properly conceal electrical cords and rugs
- Store away toys at the end of the day so trips can be prevented
- Wipe up spills right away
- Utilize anti-skid mats beneath rugs and any floor coverings
When infants start to crawl, it is hard to keep him/her away from steps and chairs. With this in mind, mount safety gates on stairs and keep in place until the child is capable of walking up and down stairs on his/her own.
The bathroom is a slippery place and even adults can fall. Encourage the child to stay seated while in the bathroom. The bathroom should have a non-slip surface or a non-slip bath mat.
In the bedroom, all toys should be removed from the cot if the child is older than 18 months. The reason for this is that the child can utilize the toys to climb on and then fall out of the cot. It is important to note that cot bumpers, toys and pillows can also increase the risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy including SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents. The safest option for infants of all ages is not to provide any toys in the cot.