EVERY day in the UK, 45 children under the age of five are admitted to hospital following a serious fall, data shows.
While slips and trips are to be expected, more serious falls can lead to head injuries which could have a lifelong impact, the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) states.
In the US, it’s estimated that 2.2million children aged 14 and under are treated at emergency rooms for falls, data from Stanford Children’s states.
Falls aren’t just a risk for babies though and older children are still prone to them.
Data from the CAPT shows that each year around 27,000 children aged 5-14 are admitted to hospital after a fall.
Sometimes, falls just can’t be prevented and one first aider has revealed the five red flags you need to look out for if your little one suffers one.
Expert and CEO of Tiny Hearts, Nikki Jurcurtz said: “It’s so important that you know how to assess your little one if they’ve had a fall.
“Some of the serious signs and symptoms of a fall can be so subtle.
“The first thing you need to determine is how serious the fall is.
“Some really great ways to do that is by looking for the following red flags that would indicate whether your little one has had a severe fall.”
- Any loss of consciousness (even for a short time)
- Fall more than double their height
- They vomit more than once
- Unequal pupil size
- Any fluid from their nose or ears.
If you do see any of these signs you need to call emergency services straight away and get your little one seen, the expert added.
Experts at CAPT said because serious falls can result in head injuries, they are one of the most traumatic and devastating accidents a baby or child can have.
“In a worst case scenario, a child can suffer from learning disabilities and personality changes. The consequences can last for a lifetime and affect the whole family,” they said.
When it comes to keeping kids safe around the house, the experts said you should fit safety catches or locks to doors and restrictors onto windows.
The guidance states that you should also keep furniture like beds and sofas away from windows to prevent children from climbing and reaching them.
While this is key for older children, the experts said that babies are also prone to falls despite not being mobile.
“Even very young babies can wriggle and the soft spot in their skull – the fontanelle – means they’re at greater risk of a serious head injury if they fall.
“This soft spot closes at different times, but generally takes a couple of months to fully close and protect the baby’s brain,” they said.
They advised that parents should always change nappies on the floor and to keep any bouncy chairs on the floor, rather than keeping them on a table or a work surface.
You should never leave a baby unattended on a bed or a changing table, they added.