Home Fall Prevention, Children Ages 10 to 14 Years

Each day in New York State, an average of 95 children between 10 to 14 years of age are treated at a hospital because of an unintentional fall; an average of three children are injured severely enough to require hospitalization. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations and hospital emergency department visits for children ages 14 years and younger in New York.

The good news is that you, as a parent or caregiver, can play a major role in preventing home fall injuries.

What are the most common causes of falls?

The most common causes of fall-related injuries for children at this age are slipping, tripping, stumbling, and falls from one level to another (such as down stairs).

How can I help prevent my child from falling down the stairs?

Keep stairs free from clutter. Teach your child not to leave his or her toys, sports equipment or clothes on the floor as they are possible tripping hazards.

What types of features can help make windows safer?

  • All windows above the first floor should have locks and operable window guards. Window screens alone are not strong enough to keep a child from falling out a window.
  • Window guards prevent the window from being opened more than four inches. They can be removed in case of fire. It is possible for a child to fit through an opening as small as five inches.

How can I make my bathtub safer?

Place slip-resistant mats or stickers on the bottom of your bathtub and shower so the floor is not as slippery.

What are some other safety tips to prevent falls at home?

  • Teach your child important home safety rules, like using handrails when walking up or down stairs and keeping his/her shoelaces tied.
  • Safety belts and straps should always be used when available, especially when riding in cars.
  • Secure area rugs so your child cannot trip on them.
  • Children should wear footwear that fits properly and is slip-resistant, such as sneakers.
  • Teach your child not to climb on furniture and counters as well as hazards outsides the home, such as trees.
  • Put furniture away from windows and anchor pieces to the wall (especially television sets). Young children love to climb on furniture and use drawers and shelves as steps. They may also be influenced by older children to do dangerous stunts on your furniture.
  • Do not put toys or items that may interest children on the top of furniture.

Where can I find more information about home safety?

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