Friday, 25 September 2009

The most common childrens accident in and around the home is falling, with the kitchen and stairs the most likely places for accidents. Many falls are simple trips or stumbles (many resulting from toddlers learning to walk) these usually result in minor bumps and bruises, the more serious are falls from a height for example babies falling from a pram, bed or highchair. Other serious falls are when children fall from one level of a property to another, such as falling down stairs or from a balcony.

Another area of danger is when children climb or pull on household objects and cause them to fall over on top of them, items such as tv's, drawers and cabinets are heavy and could severely injure a child if they fell on them.

What can be done to reduce the risk

- the use of child safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs prevents the child from having access to the stairs and so cannot fall down them. In addition the top of the stairs should be kept clear to prevent standing on or tripping over items such as toys, items of clothing etc.

- ensure that heavy pieces of furniture are either securely fastened to the wall or stable so that a child would not be able to pull it over.

- child locks should be fitted on windows and all items removed from around the window which a child could climb to access it. When fitting locks to the windows care should be taken to ensure that the windows could still be opened quickly in an emergency.

- a baby harness should be fitted to any child in a pram.

- no child should be left unattended on a high surface such as a table

- included with this section should be falls from bikes, children should always wear a helmet when riding a bike, it will protect the head in the event of a fall and it will develop a good habit as the child grows.

- one thing that underpins all the items above is that whenever possible an adult should supervise the child as much as possible.

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