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Don’t fall for it – NHS plea to parents on falls

The local NHS in Birmingham and Solihull is urging parents and children to be aware of the risks of falls following the launch of its Stay Safe this Summer campaign last week.

According to the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) falls account for around 60 deaths in children aged one to five each year – with 45 children admitted to hospital daily following a serious fall and some 27,000 admitted annually between the ages of five and 14 years old.

With the weather reaching peak temperatures over the summer, anyone living in tower blocks or with a balcony are particularly susceptible to incidents of this nature.

“Young children are at the greatest risk of falling because of their urge to explore their surroundings,” says Helen Jenkinson, chief nursing officer of NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG. “So many cases that we see could have been avoided with a little planning and supervision.”

As part of the campaign several social media posts will share some information and advice to help prevent falls.

A few simple steps could mean the difference between serious injury or even death which is understandably devastating for families’. It’s impossible to supervise them 100% of the time, but with a few simple adjustments to the home, serious falls from windows are easily preventable:

  • Fit safety catches, locks or window restrictors to windows.
  • Keep keys to window locks in a place where you can easily find them, in case you need to escape from a fire.
  • Keep furniture like beds and sofas away from windows to prevent children from climbing and reaching windows.
  • Make sure there’s nothing else near a window – like a toy box – that young children can use as a step.

And, if parents of young children live in homes with balconies, keep them away from balconies unless they are supervised and keep balcony doors locked when not in use.

“We urge parents to be mindful of the dangers and how they can take steps to avoid a tragedy from happening.”

For more information about falls visit: https://www.capt.org.uk/falls

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