Preventing Falls While in the Hospital - Pediatrics
Falls can cause health problems for children. There are many things that can be done to prevent falls. This handout is to help you learn more about things that you can do to help your child remain safe and free from injury. Your nurse will assess your child’s risk for falling. All children are at some risk for falling while in the hospital, but some are at greater risk than others. If your child is considered a high fall risk, there will be a yellow star placed on the room’s doorframe. A yellow star alerts staff that your child is at risk for falls. Your child may also receive a yellow fall risk wristband and/or yellow slippers. These also alert staff of your child’s fall risk status.
- When your child needs help and you cannot help, please use or have your child use their call light to alert the staff.
- Have your child ask for help before getting up if your child is not steady.
- Have them wear their glasses and hearing aids if needed.
- Have your child wear non-skid slippers. The staff can provide some if you do not have your own.
- If your child has a walking aid, walker, crutches or a brace, be sure to have your child use it.
- Please let the nurses know when you are leaving your child's room.
- Keep crib rails up at their highest position if you are not with your child at the bedside. Always test crib rail to make sure that it is latched securely.
- Be aware that certain medicines such as pain medicine, sedation, heart medicine, and medicines to increase urine output may make your child feel dizzy or unsteady.
- Keep your child's call light within reach and ask your child to use it when help is needed.
- Keep any needed items such as a phone, glasses, walking aids, or cups within reach.
- When your child gets out of bed, be sure the bed is in its lowest position.
- Watch for slippery spots or objects on the floor. Keep toys picked up off the floor.
- If it is a sunny day, close the blinds to reduce glare.
- Keep the room clear of extra chairs.
- Make sure your child's room is well lit.
- Do not let your child climb on the couch or stand on bed or chairs. We want to prevent your child from falling against the sharp corners and getting hurt.
- Tell your nurse about your child's bathroom habits. It is helpful to know when and how often your child goes to the bathroom so your nurse can help plan for any safety needs.
- Help your child to use the bathroom before it becomes urgent. If your child has urgency ask for a commode or urinal to be placed at your child's bedside.
- Have your child use the handrails on the bathroom wall to get on and off the toilet.
- Be careful as your child enters and exits the shower or tub. Your child should step over the short ledge and use the handrails to prevent falls.
- When getting out of the shower, watch for slippery spots on the floor. Place a towel on the floor to stand on when feet are wet.
Safety Beyond Your Room
Walking in the halls is good exercise. Please stay close to your child for support. Your child's nurse and physical therapist will help you decide if the child's walks can be done alone or with the help of family or staff. Be sure your child wears slippers and glasses and uses a walking aid if needed.
Your child's safety is important to us. Let us know if your child has any special needs and how we can help prevent falls.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 05/29/2012
Copyright © 05/29/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6200
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