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« our campaigns | Keeping your children safe from Falls

Surprisingly enough, home is one of the most dangerous places that you can be in.  More children get injured at home than anywhere else.

Falls are one of the leading causes of injury in children in Qatar. Almost 80% of injuries in the home are fall related.  Different age groups are at risk from different kinds of falls.  Here are some tips on how you can reduce the risks to your child.

Babies and young children:

  • Never leave young children unattended on changing tables, beds, couches or other furniture.
  • Always strap children in when using high chairs, infant carriers, swings and strollers.
  • Place baby carriers on the floor, not on top of a table or other furniture.
  • Never use baby walkers on wheels.  Stationary play centres give your baby a chance to practice standing and moving in an upright position without going anywhere and getting into dangerous situations.  Look for one that is on a stable, non-moveable base and place it away from stairs, hot appliances and window blinds or drapery cords, if you have these.
  • Make it a habit to push kitchen and dining room chairs under the table to take away an attractive climbing gym.
  • Install baby gates at the top and bottom of all staircases in the home.
  • Safety gates at the top of stairs must be attached to the wall, as these are more secure than the kind held in place by outward pressure. 

Pre-school and school-age children:

  • Use non-slip rugs on the floor and mats, or decals, in the bathtub or shower.
  • Keep hallways and stairs well-lit and clear of clutter.
  • Never let children play on high porches, stairs or balconies.
  • Lock all unopened doors and windows
  • Be sure children are always supervised

Falls and window safety:

  • Window blind cords and chains can pose a risk for babies, children and vulnerable people who could injure or even strangle themselves on the hanging looped cords.  Avoid such blinds whenever possible but if you have them arrange to tie the cords up well out of reach of any children in the house.
  • Do not place a child’s cot, bed, playpen or highchair near a window.
  • Consider installing window guards to prevent children from falling out of windows.  For windows above the first floor ensure that any guards have an emergency release device in case of fire.
  • Install window stops so that windows open no more than four inches.
  • Keep windows locked and closed when they are not being used.
  • Keep furniture away from windows so children cannot climb to the ledge.
  • Do not rely on window screens to prevent falls.
  • Supervise children at all times, especially around open windows.
  • Never try to move a child who appears to be seriously injured after a fall – call 999 and let trained medical personnel move the child with proper precautions.

Falls outside:

  • Playground equipment should be kept in good repair and securely anchored above a soft surface.  Suitable surfaces include: sand, pea gravel, wood chips, shredded rubber, rubber mats and synthetic turf.
  • A fall onto a shock absorbing surface is less likely to cause a serious injury than a fall onto a hard surface.
  • Surfacing should be at least 30cms deep and extend at least 2 meters in all directions.  Depending on the height of the equipment, surfacing may need to extend further than 2 meters.
  • For swings, make sure that the surface extends, in the back and front, twice the height of the suspending bar, so if the top of the swing set is 2 meters high, the surfacing should extend 4 meters.
  • Children should always wear activity-specific, properly fitting safety gear when participating in recreational activities.