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Safety checklist: Falls around the Home

New Zealand Child Safety Foundation

Falls are a leading cause of unintentional child injury.  Fall injuries are closely associated with age. The largest group of fall hospitalisations involved children aged 5 to 9 (42%). Apart from a peak at the age of one, hospitalisations from falls rise until the age of six, and are at there highest between the ages of five and seven.

Despite the downward trend in fall hospitalisations after the age of six, they remain a significant cause of injury at every age.

  • Wipe up spilled liquids immediately
  • Never leave a baby alone on a bed or changing table
  • Install window guards
  • Use stair guards at the top and bottom of stairs
  • Use bed guards on beds and bunks for young children
  • Place furniture away from windows, children can climb
  • Make sure toys eg. roller skates etc are out of traffic areas
  • Teach children that beds are not for playing or bouncing on
  • Children under six years should never sleep on a top bunk
  • Supervise children on a balcony or terrace
  • Use skid proof mats in bath and shower
  • Don’t leave shampoo or soap in bottom of bath or shower
  • Install a hard rail in the shower stall at child’s height
  • Always supervise your child in the bath
  • Keep balcony rails free of furniture
  • Keep toilet doors closed and toilet seat down
  • Discourage children from playing in the kitchen, bathroom or laundry.

This checklist has been kindly provided by the New Zealand Child Safety Foundation, one of New Zealand’s least known but most valuable charitable foundations. Established in 1985 as the New Zealand Safe Playing Trust to teach safety to pre-school and early primary school pupils, the Child Safety Foundation NZ was renamed in 1993. The Foundation is not funded by the Government and derives it’s funding from donations and fundraising. The foundation, through the generosity of its sponsors and other limited funding provides worthwhile services to support young families.