Preventing Falls at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Your child’s safety is important to us. Did you know that falls can occur anytime, anywhere — even at the Hospital? We need your help to keep your child safe during your stay with us. In this video, your family will learn about fall prevention and how you can partner with your healthcare team to make sure your child stays safe while at CHOP.


Preventing Falls at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Narrator: When you bring your child to CHOP for an admission or an appointment, would you ever consider that he or she would be at risk to fall? Falls can happen in a hospital, and we need your help to keep your child safe during your stay with us.

All patients are at risk of falling, but some patients are at higher risk because of their age, their developmental stage, the treatment they are receiving, or even the hospital environment itself. For example, because of their age and developmental stage, toddlers have a lot of energy and want to explore their environment. Adolescents and teens like to be independent and may forget to ask for help when getting around their hospital room. Also, certain types of medications can cause patients to be unsteady on their feet.

These are just some examples of how your child could be at higher risk of falling while at the hospital or at an outpatient location. We are asking you to partner with your child’s healthcare team so that we can all work together to make sure your child remains safe during his or her stay with us.

You can help us to keep your child safe from the risk of falling with these action steps.

Child: Let your nurse know on admission if your child has fallen at any time in the past due to a medical condition or side effects of medications.

Be sure that your child is wearing skid proof socks, which the nurse can provide for you.

Also, be sure that your child’s clothing is not dragging on the floor.

And, when possible, make sure to walk the child when they are out of bed, especially if he or she is connected to medical equipment. Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your child is safe during their visit.

First, be aware that the Hospital rooms are different from those at home. We have taller furniture, harder floors, and movable equipment. The call light and bedside tables should be kept within yours or your child’s reach. And keep the side rails up on your child’s bed or crib. He or she can easily fall out if you happen to step away.

For safety reasons, we recommend cribs for children 3 years old and younger. And remember, for safety reasons, the day beds, those couches and chairs that open up, are for family members. Patients can easily fall off the couch and get injured. Keep a clear pathway in your child’s room so there are no tripping hazards. Partner with your team to make sure equipment the child no longer needs is removed from the room. Always buckle the lap belt when your child’s in a stroller, wheelchair, highchair or wagon.

Your nurse will talk to you about ways to keep safe and offer you some printed information with helpful reminders. We are better when we work together and together we can prevent patient falls at CHOP.

Related Centers and Programs: Department of Family Relations