x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

How to prevent falls in the home

How to in the UAE: Besides traffic accidents, falls were the most common cause of injuries that landed children in Al Ain's main trauma ward from 2003 to 2006.

Avoid using baby walkers, which can cause children to fall down stairs or slip from raised surfaces.
Avoid using baby walkers, which can cause children to fall down stairs or slip from raised surfaces.

Besides traffic accidents, falls were the most common cause of injuries that landed children in Al Ain's main trauma ward from 2003 to 2006.

While parents in the UAE might worry about falls from high-rise buildings, they should also be conscious of the risk of falls inside.

Many homes have very hard flooring, such as marble, said Dr Michal Grivna, an assistant professor in UAE University's department of community medicine.

"If there is a fall the impact is very high," Dr Grivna said.

Parents should consider laying down carpets with non-slip mats underneath. They should also place non-slip mats in the bathroom.

"For small children, it is good to limit their access to the stairs," Dr Grivna said. Parents can buy baby gates at Ikea or children's stores.

Avoid using baby walkers, which can enable children to fall down stairs or slip from raised surfaces.

"Another risk is bunk beds," Dr Grivna said. Make sure there are guards on upper bunks so that children cannot roll off.

To prevent falls from high-rise windows, install devices that prevent windows from opening wider than 10 centimetres. Such devices should be too difficult for a child to operate but simple for an adult to remove in an emergency.

Finally, parents should keep furniture that children can climb on away from windows.

If your home has a balcony, make sure the guards are vertical - children can climb on horizontal guards - and limit child access to the area.

vnereim@thenational.ae

 

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