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Facts for Life

Injury prevention

Supporting Information


Falls are a major cause of injury for young children. Stairs, balconies, roofs, windows, and play and sleeping areas should be made secure, using barriers with vertical bars to protect children from falling.

Children often fall as they learn to walk, run and jump. Many of these falls cause small scrapes and bruises. Sometimes falls can cause broken bones, head injuries or other serious injuries, even death.

Infants left unattended may fall from beds, cots or hammocks. Young children may fall down stairs or from windows or balconies.

Children like to climb. They can be seriously injured if they fall from a high place or try to climb up on top of heavy furniture that might fall on them.

In addition to supervision, some steps to prevent children from serious falls include:

  • discourage and prevent children from climbing onto unsafe places
  • do not allow children to play on stairs and balconies, and, if they do, watch them closely
  • use railings of appropriate width and height with vertical bars on stairs, windows or balconies
  • keep the home clean, well lit and free of sharp objects and rough edges
  • properly secure babies in high chairs
  • do not leave infants unattended on beds, cots, hammocks or in walkers or other baby equipment
  • keep furniture such as beds, chairs and cribs away from windows
  • do not put toys or other items on high shelves that may attract small children, and fasten heavy furniture such as cabinets or shelves to the wall.

For first aid advice on broken bones, bruises or sprains, refer to the end of this chapter.