We know that falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalization among children. We also know that children fall in different situations based on their age.
- Children aged 0-4 are most likely to fall at home.
- Children aged 5-9 are most likely to be injured and hospitalized for a fall at the playground.
- Youth aged 10-14 are most likely to be hospitalized for a fall while playing a sport.
Preventing fall injuries at home
- Take a few precautions, and you can help prevent some of the more serious falls your small child is at risk for.
- Use the change table strap or change your newborn on the floor.
- Place baby seats and play equipment on the floor, not on counters or tables.
- Babies should not be left alone on couches, chairs, or beds.
- Use a child safety gate—screwed into the wall—at the top of staircases.
- Use safety straps to anchor furniture to the walls.
- Move your child from a crib to a toddler bed (or to a mattress on the floor) if your child has tried to climb out of the crib.
- Place corner guards on furniture with sharp edges or temporarily remove certain furniture.
- Avoid bunk beds, or avoid the top bunk until your child is old enough to use it safely.
Preventing fall injuries at the playground
- Older kids are exploring their independence and pushing their physical boundaries. Here are some ways to keep them safe from falls at the playground.
- Make sure your child uses outdoor play equipment that’s designed for their age.
- Choose playgrounds with gravel, sand, wood chips, or rubber on the ground.
- Remove scarves and drawstrings from your child’s clothing when playing outside.
Preventing fall injuries in sports
- Preteens and teens are most at risk for sports-related falls. Here are a few precautions you can take:
- Choose the right helmet for your child’s sports and activities.
- Make sure your child’s helmet fits properly by using the 2V1 Rule: two fingers above the eyebrows, straps form a V under the ears, and one finger under the chin strap.
- Make sure your older child knows the rules of the road when doing wheeled activities.
- Avoid trampolines—they’re a high risk activity and a fall hazard.