How to Prevent Fall Injuries in Children: Tips from a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon

fall injuries in childrenThe most common cause of nonfatal injuries for kids ages 1 to 19 are falls. Every day an estimated 8,000 juveniles are admitted into the emergency room due to injuries sustained from a fall. Fall injuries in children can be as minor as bruises or sprains, but they can also be as serious as head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones.

  • Signs of head injury in children include unconsciousness, abnormal breathing, disturbance of speech or vision, change in pupils, weakness, paralysis, neck pain, stiffness, vomiting, and seizures.
  • Signs of spinal cord injury in children include muscle weakness, loss of muscle movement, difficulty breathing, loss of feeling in extremities, and loss of bowel or bladder function.
  • Signs of a broken bone in children include pain, swelling, and deformity. You may have heard a snap upon impact and it painful for your child to move, touch, or press on the injured area. There should be swelling and bruising, as well.

Preventing Falls and Fall Injuries in Children

If you want to prevent fall injuries in children, you have to prevent falls. You can’t always protect your children from falls, as they grow they still becoming accustomed to their bodies and learning how to control their movements. However, you can minimize hazards around the house to help prevent fall injuries in children. Here are some tips on doing so.

  • Always monitor infants and toddlers. If your baby is on a bed or change table, always have a hand on them especially if something draws your eye away. In order to be safest, change diapers on the floor when possible.
  • If you use a hop swing or baby bouncer, never put it on a surface above the floor such as a table top.
  • As your child grows, prevent them from climbing furniture by keeping their toys and other items of interest within their reach.
  • When your child begins walking, keep pathways clear of tripping hazards.
  • Install safety gates on both sides of stairs until your child is coordinated enough to navigate them on their own.
  • Children under the age of nine are not old enough to use bunk beds.
  • The bath is a common area for slip and falls. Use non-slip surface mats in the tub and teach your children to stay sitting during bathtime and to get out with caution.
  • Use stickers and decor to make glass doors visible when closed.
  • Place locks on windows where children could fall out.
  • Gaps between railings on stairs and balconies should be no wider than 3 ½ inches.

These tips should help to prevent your child from suffering a fall-related injury.

However, accidents do happen regardless of prevention and monitoring. If your child sustains a fall related injury, contact Dr. Stacie Grossfeld. Dr. Grossfeld has over 25 years of experience as an pediatric orthopedic surgeon and can help with children’s injuries such as broken bones.

You can contact Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists by calling 502-212-2663 today to schedule an appointment.