FALLS – CHILDREN & YOUTH 

Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalization among BC children and youth 0 to 19 years old.1

OVERVIEW

The leading causes of fall-related hospitalization by age include: 1

  • Infants less than 1 year of age: fall involving bed, chair, or other furniture
  • Ages 1-4 years: fall involving playground equipment; fall involving bed, chair, or other furniture
  • Ages 5-9 years: fall involving playground equipment, particularly monkey bars
  • Ages 10-19 years: fall involving skates, skis, and skateboards; fall on same level (slip, trip, stumble)

Fall from skateboard

Fall from furniture

Fall from playground equipment

PREVENTION

Prevent falls in infants and children:

  • Supervise children: Keeping an eye on infants and children in the home and on the playground can reduce the risk of injury.
  • Use age-appropriate equipment: Ensure children use age-appropriate and well-maintained playground equipment. The height of the playground equipment, the material used for ground surfacing beneath the equipment, and the condition of the surfacing can influence the risk of an injury resulting from a fall.
  • Remove hazards in the home: Toddlers and babies are curious and love to climb.
    • Kids can fall through windows that are open as little as 12 cm wide, and window screens will not prevent a fall. Move furniture away from under windows and balconies. Window guards and stair gates can help to fall-proof your home.
    • Keep stairwells and walkways free from clutter to avoid tripping.
  • Wear protective equipment during sports and recreational activities: Older children and youth can reduce their risk of sport-related falls and injuries by wearing appropriate protective equipment, such as helmets and wrist-guards, by following the rules, and by engaging in activities appropriate to their skill levels.

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1. Data Source: Discharge Abstract Database (DAD), Ministry of Health, BCIRPU Injury Data Online Tool, 2018.