From the time a child starts to roll, crawl and climb there is the ever-present risk of falls. Bumps, bruises and cuts are common injuries when a child is growing up; for example learning to walk as well as exploring their surroundings.
There are three important factors which influence the seriousness of a fall:
1. the height the child can fall from
2. what the child falls onto
3. what the child may hit as they fall
There is an upward trend for fall injury cases in Victoria with an average of 6,000 hospital admissions and 31,000 emergency department presentations per year. Injuries were more common in male patients with falls most likely to occur at home.
Injuries to arms, head/face/neck and legs are the most common injury category with bone fractures, dislocation/sprain/strain and open wounds as the most common injury types. Falls in young people is a broad category with differing causes for injury related hospitalisation in specific age groups.
It is thought that child falls and consequential broken bones are a natural part of growing up and prevention efforts are seen as promoting “wrapping kids up in cotton wool.” Falls can have a significant physical, emotional and financial consequences for patients but also loved ones.
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