Child Injury Prevention (Ages 0-6)

Fall prevention

Introduction

Why are falls important? Five children age 0-4 and less than 5 age 5-9 died from falls in Canada in 2009. (When the number of deaths is under 5,Statistics Canada cannot report the actual number, to protect privacy.) Two thousand, five hundred and sixteen (2516) children age 0-4 and two thousand four hundred and two (2402) children age 5-9 were admitted to hospital as a result of a fall (2010/11). It is by far the leading cause for hospital admissions from injury for those 0-9 more than all other injuries combined. As stated in Lesson 1, Introduction to Child Injury Prevention, these admissions are just the tip of the iceberg as most of these children are only seen in the emergency room or at a clinic, and are not admitted to hospital.

Falls are preventable.

Primary messages

The images and messages depicted are the most common ways that children 0-6 are injured from falls. Visit the Images section for each topic to view and download the images with their corresponding messages.

How to use the images?

These images can be useful in starting discussion about what caregivers know about how to prevent injury and to problem-solve around the barriers they encounter in keeping their children safe.  The images can also be integrated into other resources that you create, such as posters, calendars, displays, etc.

Program examples and evaluation tool

These falls examples are based on best practice and share activities that groups have done or could undertake.

The following documents are available for download:

Supplementary messages and resources

  • Falls account for more than half of all the injuries and most often children fall from furniture and stairs, in addition to falling through windows.
  • Babies’ heads are large compared to the rest of their bodies.  This affects their balance and makes them more vulnerable to falls.
  • Keep one hand on your child while they’re on the change table.
  • Babies can climb before they can walk.  Secure furniture and remove table cloths before a child reaches this stage.
  • Toddlers or young child should use socks with treads in the house.  They help prevent slipping.

For additional messaging and information visit the Home Safety section of the Parachute website

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Endnotes

Public Health Agency of Canada analysis of 2009 mortality data from Statistics Canada and 2010/11 hospitalization data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information. (This is the most recent data available.)