According to research done by a major hospital in Ohio (the Research Institute at Nationwide), more than 900,000 kids under the age of five suffered stair falls that required a trip to the emergency room during the nine years from 1999 until 2008. Stair-related health problems for children are serious business and their frequency is on the rise. What can parents do?
First, be informed about how these kinds of injuries happen. Next, find out about possible solutions, like making your home a safer place for kids. Finally, take action by putting those safety measures in place as soon as possible and spread the word to others about the dangerous combination of staircases and children. According to a helpful article by residential elevator brand Lifton, one way to effectively eliminate staircase accidents, for both children and adults, is to install an economical home elevator. Additionally, it helps to inform other parents about the solutions you’ve put in place in your home. Spreading the word about safety is always a good idea.
What Kinds of Injuries Do Stairs Cause?
While a few of the injuries that take place on stairs involve children who are riding in strollers or ambling along in walkers, the huge majority of injuries result from kids simply falling headlong down a staircase. The results usually include things like broken bones, serious neck injuries and even worse skull fractures. One part of the problem, according to experts, is that children are so exuberant and fearless, they often tumble down steps at full force, sometimes even jumping into mid-air or riding a tricycle off the top step without regard for what might happen next.
But it’s not always the child who initiates the fall. The study discovered that about one-quarter of all injuries to children on stairs happened while the little ones were being carried in an adult’s arms. In those cases, especially when the child is age 2 or younger, the resulting injuries can be fatal.
What are Possible Solutions?
There are all kinds of ways to make your home safe for kids to maximize healthy living, even if you reside in a house that has several staircases. One of the first things to do is put in safety fencing or rails at the bottom and top of all the staircases in your home. Also, make sure to keep clutter and toys off of stairs. This is a good way to prevent tripping accidents for children and adults. Put adequate lighting fixtures in areas near steps so that no one ever has to go up or down in the dark.
Teach your kids never to play on steps and warn them about the dangers of falling. And even though kids like to carry all sorts of toys around with them wherever they go, discourage your children from ever carrying anything in their arms while traversing steps. Parents can do their part too: avoid carrying a child when you are using stairs. This is one of the big “accidents waiting to happen” scenarios that safety experts warn about.