Around 10 children die as a result of falls each year – some from windows and balconies and the remainder mostly from stairs.
Most falls involve tripping over on the same level. However, the most serious consequences result from falls between two levels, such as falling out of a pram or highchair or falling from a bed. The worst injuries are sustained when a child falls from a great height or lands on something hard, sharp or hot.
Many accidents are caused by horseplay involving pushing, shoving and wrestling. Children have also died or have been seriously injured by heavy objects such as furniture and televisions being pushed or pulled over them. Sets of drawers, in a child’s eyes, make ideal climbing frames but, if unsecured, they pull over easily.
Stairs and windows
- Fit a safety gate BS EN 1930: 2011 at the top and bottom of stairs
- Never leave tripping hazards on the stairs
- 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
- Fit child resistant window restrictors but make sure you can get out easily in an emergency
- Do not put anything under the window that can be climbed on
- Furniture and tall kitchen appliance, at risk from being pulled over, should be secured to the wall.