Falls in the home account for one-third of emergency department visits. According to National Safe Kids Campaign, eighty percent of fall-related injuries among children 4 and younger occur in the home. Practice the following guidelines for you and your child:
- Schedule routine appointments for physical, eye and ear exams.
- Ask your pediatrician or pharmacist about drug interactions and potential side effects (like dizziness) for prescription or over-the-counter medicine.
- Light your home adequately, and use the highest watt bulbs recommended for lamps and fixtures.
- Give your child a nightlight or flashlight for getting out of bed at night.
- Use rubber mats or non-skid strips in the tub or shower.
- Use a shower seat in the tub or shower if needed.
- Have your child wear low-heeled, non-skid shoes. Always have shoelaces tied properly.
Don’t use throw rugs.
- Pick up toys.
- Keep items used most often in easy-to-reach locations.
- Don’t allow your child to carry items that are too heavy.
- Close supervision of infants and children will prevent most falls.
- Keep windows locked when they are closed.
- Never let your child open windows by themselves.
- Prevent windows from opening more than four inches by using window guards.
- Don’t place furniture near windows.
- Know that screens don’t prevent falls.
- Don’t let your child jump on beds or sofas.
- Don’t place infant carriers on furniture; instead, leave them on the floor.
- Do not allow a child under the age of six to sleep in the top bed of bunk beds.
- Once your child reaches 35 inches tall, they should no longer sleep in a crib.
- Once your infant can sit up, place the crib mattress on the lowest level.
- Use safety gates at the top and bottom of staircases.
- Do NOT use tension gates at the top of stairs; instead use a hardware-mounted gate.
- Keep stairs clear of toys and other objects.
- Keep staircases well lit.
- Teach your child to use the hand railing.
- Never allow your child to slide down railings.