CHILDREN AND FALLS
- Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal unintentional injury for all children ages 14 years and under.
- Infants are at risk from falls associated with furniture, stairs and baby walkers.
- Windows and playground equipment are major risk factors for toddlers and older children.
- Window screens are not enough. Window guards should be installed on upper floors, making sure they’re designed to open quickly from the inside in case of fire.
- Protective surfacing under and around playground equipment can reduce the severity of fall-related injuries.
- The use of safety gates at the tops and bottoms of stairs reduces a young child's chances of falling.
Laws and Regulations
- The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has established voluntary safety standards for window guards, which ensure that those guards designed for single-family homes or the lower floors of apartment buildings have simple emergency-release mechanisms for use in the event of a fire.
- Playground equipment guidelines have been developed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and ASTM.
- All baby walkers must meet ASTM voluntary and mandatory standards, which require that baby walkers either be too wide to fit through a standard doorway or have features, such as a gripping mechanism, to stop the walker at the edge of a step.
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