Safety measures are dependent on a child’s skill, developmental stage, age, and risk-taking behaviour. Adults should participate in active supervision of young children at all times.
Falls are the leading cause of hospitalization due to injury in children and youth in Saskatchewan. Falls on stairs, off playground equipment, off of furniture including beds, change tables and high chairs, falls from a parent or caregiver’s arms, and many other falls make up these injuries.
Falls happen in a quick instant and many occur at a time when a child is developing a new skill, such as when a child learns to roll, crawl, go up or down stairs or climb. Parents and caregivers must anticipate their child’s new skill development and remember that nothing replaces constant supervision of a young child.
Download this summary for information about fall-related hospitalizations for Saskatchewan children under the age of 10. Information about how to prevent fall-related injuries in children is also provided.
Simple safety measures can be taken to ensure a child does not suffer an injury due to a fall. Safety measures are dependent on a child’s skill, developmental stage, age, and risk-taking behaviour. Adults should participate in active supervision of young children at all times. Other actions to reduce the risk of an injury due to a fall are listed below.
When your child can push onto his hands and knees (at about 6 months of age), move his crib mattress to the lowest position.
Move your child out of his crib when he is 90 cm (35 in) tall. This is typically around 2 years of age and is the time when your child will develop the ability to climb out of his crib. Move your child to a bed that is low to the ground to prevent fall-related injuries.
Put safety gates at the top and bottom of all stairs in your home. Use wall-mounted safety gates and ensure they are securely fastened to the wall. Remove safety gates when your child’s chin is at the top of the safety gate or when she is 2 years of age. This is when your child will begin to develop the ability to climb the gate, increasing her risk of a serious injury if she falls over the gate and onto the stairs. Teach your child how to go up and down the stairs and make sure you are always with her when she is on the stairs.
Always use available safety straps on high chairs and strollers.
Secure heavy furniture, such as dressers, book shelves, and TV stands so that if your child pulls himself up on the furniture to stand or tries to climb the furniture, it cannot fall on him.
Supervise your child on playground equipment. Be within an arm’s reach of children under 5 years of age when they are at heights or climbing.