Home Fall Prevention for Children and Young Adults

Most falls for children and young adults occur at home. Depending on age, falls can result from a variety of situations. Falling from high surfaces, slipping, tripping, stumbling, falling down the stairs are common causes of falls in these age groups. Following age-appropriate safety precautions can help prevent most falls from happening.

Safety Recommendations

  • Always provide direct supervision. The best way to prevent injury is to watch, listen, and stay near your infant and young child. If you need to step away for a short time, place them in a safe place such as a crib or playpen.
  • For young children, instead of using walkers with wheels, use stationary walkers, playpens, and highchairs for play time.
  • Install safety gates that are anchored around the house to prevent falls, especially at the top and bottom of stairs. Avoid using accordion-style or tension gates because children's heads can get caught in them and then they can become strangled.
  • Always use safety straps in highchairs, and other carriers.
  • Place infant-only car seats on the floor, when possible, to avoid any risk of it tipping over.
  • Crib sides should be kept up and firmly secured while an infant or child is in a crib.
  • Never leave an infant or young child alone while on a high surface such as a changing table or bed. Always keep one hand on them while they are on a high surface.
  • Keep furniture away from windows and anchor pieces to the wall so if they are pulled or leaned on, they will not move.
  • To discourage young children from climbing, avoid placing toys or other items of interest on top of furniture.
  • Keep stairs clutter free.
  • To avoid tripping, secure area rugs.
  • All windows above a first-floor level should have locks and operable window guards. Window screens are not strong enough to prevent a fall. Window guards don’t allow the window to open more than four inches but can be easily removed in case of a fire.
  • To avoid slippery surfaces place slip resistant mats or stickers on the bottom of the bathtub or shower.
  • Young children and teens should wear footwear that fits properly and is slip-resistant, such as sneakers.
  • Encourage home safety rules such as, using handrails, keeping shoes tied, not leaving clutter on the floors or stairs, not to climb on counters, furniture, and trees outside.

Resources