According to Safe Kids Worldwide, Unintentional falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for children in the United States. In 2010, unintentional falls resulted in nearly 3 million injuries requiring treatment in an emergency room.
Install Window Guards and Stops
- Screens are meant to keep bugs out, not children in. Properly install window guards to prevent unintentional window falls. For windows above the first floor, include an emergency release device in case of fire.
- Install window guards that adults and older children can easily open in case of emergency. Include this in your family's fire escape plan and practice it regularly.
- Install window stops so that windows open no more than four inches.
Open Windows From the Top and Close After Use
- If you have windows that can open from both top and bottom, make a habit of opening just the top to prevent accidental falls. Keep in mind that as kids grow, they may have enough strength, dexterity and curiosity to open the bottom.
- Keep windows locked and closed when they are not being used.
Keep Kids From Climbing Near Windows
- For your crawlers and climbers, move chairs, cribs and other furniture away from windows to help prevent window falls.
- Never move a child who appears to be seriously injured after a fall — call 911 and let trained medical personnel move the child with proper precautions.
Secure Kids When Seated
- Keep babies and young kids strapped in when using high chairs, infant carriers, swings and strollers.
- If your baby is in a carrier, remember to place it on the floor, not on top of a table or other furniture.
Help Babies Learn to Stand and Walk Safely
- There are some things to know about baby walkers: They don't come with safety features that prevent the walkers from rolling down the stairs, and it's easy for children to fall or reach higher objects that may be unsafe. So please be extra careful.
- Because baby walkers can be dangerous, try using a stationary activity center. These items give your baby a chance to practice standing and moving more safely. Look for one that is on a stable, non-moveable base and place it away from stairs, hot appliances or window cords.
Play on Soft Surfaces at Playgrounds
- Take your kids to playgrounds with shock-absorbing surfaces such as rubber, synthetic turf, sand, pea gravel, wood chips or mulch. If your child falls, the landing will be more cushioned than on asphalt, concrete, grass or dirt.
- Click for more tips on playground safety.
Be Smart, Protect Your Head
- It's important that kids have the freedom to be creative and push their limits. That means wearing a helmet for appropriate activities such as biking or snowboarding to prevent a head injury that can ruin the fun down the road.
Use Shopping Carts With Wheeled Attachments for Kids
- Don't leave your child alone in a shopping cart.
- If possible, use shopping carts that have a wheeled child carrier that is permanently attached. Some of these models look like cars or benches attached to the shopping cart, so your kids will love them.
- If you are placing your child in a shopping cart seat, use a harness or safety belt. If the belt is missing or broken, select another cart.
- We know that letting your child ride in the cart basket, under the basket, on the sides or on the front of the cart is fun. It can also be dangerous.
Watch Out for the Stairs
- Use approved safety gates at the tops and bottoms of stairs and attach them to the wall, if possible. Remember to read the manufacturer's instructions and warning labels to make sure you have the right gate for your needs. Not all gates are safe for use at the top of stairs.
- Actively supervise toddlers on stairs. Hold their hands when walking up and down stairs.
Prevent Slips at Home
- Consider anti-slip rugs for the floors in your home, and mats or decals in the bathtub or shower to help prevent dangerous falls.
- Keep hallways and stairs well-lit and clear of clutter.
- Don't let kids play on high porches, decks, stairs or balconies. If it's unavoidable, make sure they are supervised by an adult.
Show Older Kids How to Be Responsible
- Talk to your kids about appropriate play behaviors. We know some play can be physical, but it's important to know when and where it's appropriate.
Prevent TV and Furniture Tip-Overs
- Secure TVs and furniture to the wall using mounts, brackets, braces, anchors or wall straps to prevent tip-overs. These kinds of accident happen more than you might think so take a few minutes, secure your TV and furniture, and then never worry about it again.
- Don't let children climb on furniture or use drawers or shelves as steps.