Are We Setting Our Children Up To Fall?

Don’t make a big fuss if a child falls down, it will only make them more upset.” is a phrase that most parents and caregivers live by. Or that falling down is just apart of children learning to pick themselves back up. Having a calm reaction can help a child from getting upset after falling at the park. But, are we (inadvertently) desensitizing kids to the dangers of falling down and seriously injuring themselves?

Annually, 2.8 million children have an initial emergency department visit for injuries due to a fall injury. image via Parents Magazine

Children usually fall down while running and playing, especially younger children who are just learning to walk. Over time parents and caregivers can use these moments to help teach children early on to be more aware of their surroundings to prevent future injury.

2.8 Million Children Admitted to Emergency Room for Injuries Due to Fall Injury

According to the Centers for Disease Control, every year approximately 2.8 million children have an initial emergency department visit for injuries due to a fall injury. For children, less than 1 year of age, falls account for over 50% of nonfatal injuries. Falls are also the leading cause of nonfatal injury for all age groups less than 15 years old.

Something else to consider is how many children who fell and were hurt, but not badly enough to be seen for medical attention. That number is much higher.

Conversations about fall prevention are usually directed to those of over the age of 65 or in the workplace. Fall injuries can be potentially more fatal for the elderly, but if we help children develop a safer mindset early on we can help them to prevent injuries as they age.

We Can Reduce Number of Children’s Fall Injuries

By helping children to understand responsibility for their own safety can help them to avoid serious injury in the future. Image via Parents Magazine

The next time your child falls down in your presence take a moment to calmly review with them what happened, why they fell, and how they can avoid falling the next time they are in a similar situation.

By taking just a few moments to discuss what happened with your child will help them to develop a safer mindset over time. We cannot prevent all falls from happening, especially when it comes to young children, but helping them to develop a greater sense of awareness and responsibility for their own safety can help them to avoid serious injury in the future.

We can reduce the number of children’s fall injuries by changing their perception of fall accidents. By helping children to understand that slowing down and being more aware of their surroundings can help stop these accidents from happening, rather than viewing falls as random acts happening to them.

 Tips on Fall Prevention for Children

  • Increasing children’s balance through a variety of fun games and exercises can help decrease chances of a fall. Balance boards, balance beams, and games are designed to increase motor skills are great resources to help prevent children’s falls. See more here.
  • Use properly secured safety gates at the tops and bottoms of stairways. Always accompany small children up and down stairs.
  • Footie pajamas and socks should have gripping on the soles to avoid sliding on slick floors. Adding fabric paint or hot glue in the design of your choice is a fast and easy solution.
  • Keep play areas open for space to move around freely and put away toys that are not in use.

For more tips on children’s fall prevention read more here.

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