Fall-Related Safety | The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Kohl's Injury Prevention Program

Fall-Related Safety

Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries for children less than 19 years of age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 8,000 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms for fall-related injuries.

Types of fall-related injuries

There are many different types of fall-related injuries that require medical care by a physician or other healthcare professional. The severity of the injuries will vary depending on the conditions of the fall. Those that result in head injuries are the most severe. In fact, falls are responsible for 50 percent of traumatic brain injuries in children ages 0 to 14.

Children of a certain age are more prone to certain types of falls. Infants are more likely to fall from furniture, while toddlers are more likely to fall from windows. Older children sustain more fall-related injuries from playground equipment. Preschoolers and children with physical limitations are at the greatest risk because they have a higher center of gravity. Children can also become injured by something falling on them, such as furniture, a television or shopping cart.

Tips for preventing fall-related injuries

Fall prevention - at home

Most unintentional fall-related injuries happen at home.

Furniture

When selecting furniture for your new baby

TVs

Floor surfaces

Stairs

Windows

Following safety measures in and around the home can help prevent falls. There are many products available to help make your home a safe place for your children, but every home is different and not all home safety products will work for every family. The most important safety device is constant supervision. Children are curious. It’s natural for them to explore and they need an adult to help guide them to safe discoveries.

Visit the Safety Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to purchase safety products for your home at low prices.

Fall prevention - safe shopping

Injuries resulting from a shopping cart tipping over or falling over can be severe.

Here are a few things to remember when shopping with your child:

Fall prevention - at play

Backyard play sets and community playgrounds can be the highlight of your child’s day. They both offer the benefits of physical activity and encourage children to learn new skills. When choosing a playground, consider the following:

You can further prevent falls by supervising your children on the playground at all times and teaching them how to avoid falls with these pointers:

Online resources - safety and injury prevention

This information was compiled from a variety of sources, including the online resources listed below, but is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician.

We hope you find the sites below helpful, but please remember we do not control or endorse the information presented on these websites, nor do these sites endorse the information contained here.

Safe Kids USA
American Academy of Pediatrics
Center for Disease Control

Reviewed by: Gina Duchossois
Date: February 2013

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