Young children often view the stairs in their home as another area to play. Unfortunately, it is the exact opposite. Unintentional falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for children in the United States.1 These injuries resulted from activities such as climbing on furniture, playing near an unsecured window, falling down stairs or playing on playgrounds.1 Every day, approximately 8,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for fall-related injuries.2 This adds up to almost 2.8 million children each year.2
Follow these tips to help prevent stair related injuries in your home:
- Always use an approved safety gate at both the bottom and top of the stairs. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions which includes any related warning labels.
- Not all safety gates are designed to be used at the top of the stairs. Be sure to check the manufactures instructions regarding your safety gate. Use hardware-mounted gates for the top of the stairs. Gates that only press against walls (pressure-mounted gates) are not secure enough to prevent falls at the top of stairs.4
- Keep stairs free of toys and other clutter that may cause tripping and always monitor your child on the stairs.
- Remember to educate your child about the dangers of playing on the stairs and to avoid carrying toys and other objects while climbing the stairs. Small children can lose their balance if carrying objects while climbing the stairs.
- Remember to always use the handrail.
- When carrying your child up or down the steps be sure to have one hand free to hold onto the railing. Avoid carrying anything else besides your child.
Falls can happen both inside and outside of the home. Keep these safety tips in mind to avoid injury to your child. Visit our website here for more injury prevention tips.