(HealthDay News) — Toddlers seen in the emergency department after falls at home are more likely to have parents who do not use safety gates or teach their children not to climb onto kitchen counters or furniture, according to a new study published online December 1 in JAMA Pediatrics.
Researchers looked at 672 children aged ≤4 who were seen at medical centers for injuries suffered in falls at home. The most common types of injuries were head trauma (59%), cuts and grazes that did not require stitches (19%), and fractures (14%). Sixty percent of the children did not require treatment, 29% were treated in the emergency department, 7% were treated and discharged with follow-up appointments, and 4% were admitted to the hospital.
Patients aged ≤1 year were more likely to have been left on raised surfaces, had their diapers changed on raised surfaces, and to have been put in car seats or bouncing seats on raised surfaces. Children aged ≥3 were more likely to have played or climbed on furniture.
“If our estimated associations are causal, some falls from furniture may be prevented by incorporating fall-prevention advice into child health surveillance programs, personal child health records, home safety assessments and other child health contacts,” study author Denise Kendrick, DM, from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, and colleagues write.