Child Development and Falls

Birth to Age 1

During their first year, babies begin to roll, kick, pushagainst things and progress to crawling, standing, and even taking their first steps. Your child will begin to grab anything he or she can reach. These mobility milestones are exciting, but can also be dangerous. Children at this age spend most of their time at home or a day care, so make sure proper safety measures are taken to protect babies from falls. For fall prevention tips, see the following fact sheets:

1 to 4 Years

Children in this age group will quickly be able to walk, climb, and explore everything in their environment. When they are closer to four years of age children will even be able to jump, run, and ride a tricycle. While children at this age are learning things quickly, they still can't understand the real dangers that exist. Be sure you protect exploring toddlers from fall hazards in your home and on playgrounds. For fall prevention tips, see the following fact sheets:

5 to 9 Years

At age five and six, your child is learning to do many new activities that have the potential to cause serious injury, like riding a bike and playing on a playground and in sports. Even though children are beginning to assert their independence, they are still unable to judge for themselves what is unsafe. By age nine, children turn to their friends for guidance instead of adults and take risks with their safety. With your help, they will learn safety rules. For fall prevention tips, see the following fact sheets:

10 to 14 Years

Children in this age group will do more activities away from home, like playing on sports teams, using wheeled and recreational equipment (e.g., bikes and skateboards), enjoying winter sports (like skiing and snowboarding), and playing on playgrounds. At this age, children's visual perception still isn't fully developed, which can lead to falls. Even though children in this age group feel they do not need to be supervised, continue to keep an eye on them and enforce your safety rules. For fall prevention tips, see the following fact sheets:

15 to 19 Years

Older teens assert their independence and test the limits of their bodies and minds. Children in their late teens have greater physical strength, are learning to make their own choices and developing their judgment, and can be easily influenced by peer pressure. All these factors can put teens at an increased risk for injury. For fall prevention tips, see the following fact sheets: