Falls

Falls are by far the most common type of accident in the home. They account for 44% of all children’s accidents. For babies, the biggest danger is rolling off the edge of something such as a table, bed or sofa. Toddlers quickly learn how to climb and explore and it is very easy for a child to fall off a piece of furniture, down the stairs or out of a window or balcony. Young children are likely to fall over and get knocks and bruises as they learn to walk, but serious accidents can be avoided.

Tips to help to prevent children having falls in the home:

  • Keep the environment as safe as possible - Know the Risks
  • Make sure your baby cannot roll off the changing surface
  • Do not put a bouncing cradle, or car seat carrier, on a table or worktop- they can easily bounce off the edge
  • Pick up or tidy away anything that may cause an accident
  • Clean up spills immediately
  • Secure loose surfaces
  • Fit restrictors to upstairs windows so they cannot be opened more than 10cm
  • Do not put chairs or anything a child might climb onto near windows
  • Fit safety gates approved by British Standards (BS 4125) at the top and bottom of stairs
  • Do not leave anything on the stairs that might cause someone to fall over
  • Make sure there is no room for a child to crawl through any banisters at the top of the stairs. Board them up if there is a risk of your child falling through them or getting stuck
  • If you have a private balcony, keep the door to it locked so your child cannot go onto it alone. If it has railings that your child could climb through, board them up or fit wire netting as a guard
  • Do not put anything a child can climb onto near balcony railings
  • Any furniture and kitchen appliances that could be pulled over should be secured to the wall.

Further Information on Home Safety can be viewed at:

http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/homesafety/homesafetycheck.asp
http://www.rospa.com/childsafety/inthehome/default.aspx 
http://www.childsafetyeurope.org/ 
http://www.capt.org.uk/http://www.capt.org.uk/ 
http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/hazardhunter/index.asp