How do I prevent...?

Falls

Falls

Grazed knees and bruised heads might be a normal part of every childhood, and normally don’t result in anything more serious than the need for a plaster or a bag of frozen peas. But sometimes, falls can be very serious, especially when a child falls from a great height or lands on something hard, sharp or hot.

While falls are by far the most common accidents in our homes, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce the risks.

 

Window

Falls from a height are thankfully rare, but when they do happen they can be devastating. While keeping a close eye on your little one is the safest thing you can do, we know it’s not always easy – and accidents can take place in the blink of an eye. By taking the following steps, you can make sure your home is that little bit safer:

  • Never place furniture near windows, especially in bedrooms. It’s amazing what toddlers can use as a ladder
  • Make sure all upstairs windows have a window restrictor fitted. This allows windows to open enough to allow fresh air in, but not children out.
 

Stairs

Stairs

The stairs are a common place for serious falls to take place, both for toddlers who are still finding their feet, and occasionally for adults who are carrying young children. Taking a few simple measures can help make your stairs a safer place:

  • Keep stairs free from clutter that could cause you or your little one to slip
  • Fit wall mounted safety gates at the top AND bottom of the stairs
  • If you’re struggling to choose a gate, check out this guide to buying stair gates (courtesy of Which?)
  • Stairs should be carefully maintained. Damaged or worn carpet should be repaired or removed
  • Make sure balustrades are strong and do not have any footholds for climbing
  • Stairs should always be well lit.

There are countless items in our homes and gardens that can cause nasty slips or trips. Here are some to be especially watchful for:

  • Never leave babies unattended on raised surfaces
  • Do not place baby bouncers on raised surfaces - they could fall off with the movement of the baby
  • Always change nappies on the floor, rather than a high table top or sofa
  • Always use a securely fitted five point harness in a pram, pushchair or highchair
  • Keep garden play equipment like swings, slides and climbing frames well-maintained.
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