Approximately 2.8 million people age 19 or below are treated in emergency rooms for injuries sustained during a fall. Falls, in fact, are the leading cause of injuries in the 0 to 19 age group, according to the US Centers for Disease Control.
Fortunately, falls are very preventable. Below are five home safety tips to guard against childhood falls.
1) Make sure your home has protective devices that guard against childhood falls. Make sure stairs are gated if you have young children who might take a stairs. See our blog on stairway safety . Use guard rails for the same reason. Make sure guards are placed on windows.
2) Make sure your windows will not invite a fall. Keep windows closed and locked as a general rule. Locking is important; children are curious, and might be able to open the bottom half of a window if it is possible. If you must open a window during high temperature months, make sure there is a guard. If they open from both top and bottom, always open only the top, so the opening is out of reach.
3) Arrange home furniture for maximum safety. Do not place a chair, bed, or crib near a window. Children can climb easily, and may creatively use furniture to access a window.
4) Closely supervise young children. Do not think that because they could not open a gate or try to open a window a month ago, they can’t do it now. They grow fast and are intensely curious about new things. The opening of one latch can cause a serious fall.
5) And finally, if you have play equipment in the backyard, make sure it is safe. If you children launch out of swings or accidentally fall while running, they should hit an obstacle free area.