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How To Help Prevent Your Kids From Falls

Every window at the second floor or higher should have a window guard - preferably one that has an emergency release device in the event of a fire. Small children can still fall from windows that are open just four inches.

  • Windows that do not have guards should only be opened at the top, or you can use window stops to limit these openings to just a few inches.

  • Never count on window screens to protect kids or to keep them from falling out.

  • Kids should always be supervised whenever they're around open windows.

  • All furnishings should be moved away from your windows, and your windows should remain locked whenever they're closed.

  • Kids should never be allowed to play on high porches, fire escapes, balconies or decks.

  • Check to ensure that all railing slats are safe and secure and that these are not spaced more than 3 1/2 inches apart. Whenever these openings are greater than just 3 1/2 inches, they should be covered with plastic or mesh barriers that are securely attached.

Households with toddlers or babies must have safety gates at both the top and bottom of all stairways.

  • Safety gates that are positioned at the top of the stairs should be attached to the wall given that this will provide a much higher level of stability than outward pressure types to keep safety gates in place.

  • Make sure that stairs and hallways are well-lit and free of clutter. You should also keep children from playing in these areas.

Strap young children into their carriers and seats and avoid baby walkers.

  • Do not leave young children alone on their beds, changing tables, the couch, or other elevated furnishings. Make sure that they're always securely strapped in when using their high chairs, strollers, swings, and baby carriers.

  • Do not use baby walkers that have wheels. Play centers that are stationary will help your baby practice moving and standing without having to travel anywhere or get into potentially hazardous situations.

  • Put baby carriers on the floor rather than on top of tables or other furnishings.

Keep kids who are playing safe with adult supervision and all of the best safety gear.

  • If you own a play structure, make sure that there's a cushioned surface beneath it such as fiber mulch or chips, shredded rubber, or fine sand. Soil and grass surfaces are not effective for preventing major injuries. These materials must have a depth of at least 12 inches and they should span at least six feet in every direction. Although protective surfaces do not prevent falls, they do minimize the physical injuries that falls often cause.

  • Make your children wear helmets whenever they use inline skates, bikes, skateboards and scooters. Helmets should be positioned at the very tops of their heads, with the snaps fastened beneath their chins securely. All helmets should have stickers stating that they meet the minimum standards for safety.

  • Have your children wear elbow and knee pads, and wrist guards when skateboarding or inline skating. Skaters should enroll in lessons, skate on smooth, traffic-free surfaces, and avoid skating at night.

  • Kids below the age of eight should never ride scooters without adult supervision. In addition to wearing helmets, they should also wear elbow and knee pads.

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