Toddlers Hurt in Falls Are Often Not Warned About Climbing On Furniture

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Toddlers who end up in the ER after falls at home were more likely to have parents who did not use safety gates or teach their kids not to climb onto kitchen counters or furniture – this is according to a new study.

The study was published online Dec. 1 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

In the US, 1 million children are treated in the ER each year for injuries related to falls in the home, the researchers say.

The majority of these falls involve chairs, beds, baby walkers, bouncers, changing tables and high chairs, according to the study.

In this British study, researchers had a look at more than 670 children aged 4 and younger who were seen at medical centers for injuries suffered in falls at home.

The most common types of injuries were:

  • bangs on the head (59 percent),
  • cuts and grazes that did not require stitches (19 percent)
  • and fractures (14 percent).

60% percent of the children did not require treatment, 29% were treated in the emergency department, 7% were treated and discharged with follow-up appointments and 4% were admitted to the hospital.

Patients 1 year old and younger were more likely to have been left on raised surfaces, had their diapers changed on raised surfaces and to have been put in car seats or bouncing seats on raised surfaces.

Children 3 and older were more likely to have played or climbed on furniture.

“If our estimated associations are causal, some falls from furniture may be prevented by incorporating fall-prevention advice into child health surveillance programs, personal child health records, home safety assessments and other child health contacts,” study author Denise Kendrick, from the University of Nottingham in England, and colleagues concluded.

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