Fall-related injuries for children – latest statistics and safety messages

During the 5 years from January 2009 to December 2013, 2680 children aged 0 – 14 years were admitted to Starship Children’s Hospital with unintentional fall-related injuries. This equals a yearly average of 536 children, or approximately 10 children admitted per week. An additional four children were admitted and subsequently died from their fall-related injuries.

Males accounted for 59% of admissions for fall-related injuries. Children aged between 0 – 4 years accounted for 27% of admissions, 5 – 9 years for 47%, and 10 – 14 years for 26% of fall-related admissions. Most fall-related injuries in children aged 0 – 4 years occurred in the home environment (60%), followed by public buildings (16%), recreation (12%), other (11%), and street (1%).

Child safety messages

Key safety messages:

  • Actively supervise children, for example, on playground equipment.
  • Use window latches to prevent falls from windows.
  • Use non-slip mats in baths and showers.
  • Change babies on the floor.
  • Take care when carrying babies and toddlers.
  • Use stair guards at the top and bottom of steps and stairs.
  • Use bed rails to prevent falls out of beds; bunks are for children aged 9 and over.
  • Check equipment regularly and always use as intended (for example, do not put bouncers or rockers on tables).
  • Be aware of children's developmental level, for example, can they climb up on furniture?

Summarised from Safekids News, June 2014.

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Published in consumer and occupational safety.

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