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How to Keep Kids Safe From Falls
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From the moment your baby starts to crawl, the world is a magical place filled with new adventures and discoveries. From a child’s perspective, everything is a potential mountain to climb (that giant bookshelf), obstacle to overcome (those pesky stairs) or mysterious place to investigate (anywhere beyond the safety gate). Little bumps will happen. In fact, unintentional falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for children in the United States.
Below are some tips to follow so these brave expeditions don’t result in something more serious:
• 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.
– If you have windows that can open from both the top and bottom, make a habit of opening just the top
– Move chairs, cribs and other furniture away from windows
• Keep babies and young kids strapped in when using high chairs, infant carriers, swings or strollers. When placing a baby into a carrier, remember to place the carrier on the floor, not on top of a table or other furniture.
• 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.
• Secure TVs and furniture to the wall using mounts, brackets, braces, anchors or wall straps to prevent tip-overs. These kinds of accidents happen more than you might think, so take a few minutes, secure TVs and furniture, and then never worry about it again.
• Consider anti-slip rugs for the floors in the home, mats or decals in the bathtub or shower.
• Don’t leave a child alone in a shopping cart. If possible, use shopping carts that have a wheeled
child carrier that is permanently attached. Some of these look like cars attached to the cart.
• Take kids to playgrounds with shock-absorbing surfaces such as rubber, synthetic turf, sand,
pea gravel, wood chips or mulch. If a child falls, the landing will be more cushioned than on
asphalt, concrete, grass or dirt.
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