Whether you’re a new parent or grandparent, raising a young child is full of fun, excitement, and sometimes, safety scares. If you’re expecting a crowd this holiday season that includes a little one, or if it’s your first holiday with your own tot, below are a few tips from AAOS and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA) to keep safety scares and falls minimal.
Reduce clutter. It’s easy to accumulate clutter, such as boxes of décor and stacks of gifts from holiday shopping. Take the time to declutter your home, especially the hallways and stairs.
Designate a play area. Children may receive lots of new toys for the holidays and scatter them around the house. It’s important to contain those toys in a dedicated play area and clean up after playtime to avoid tripping.
Keep walkways clear. Keep the path between your front door, driveway and mailbox well-lit and clear of debris.
Install nightlights. Keep the halls/walkways in your home well-lit and consider a nightlight in the bathroom. A clear path is especially helpful for family members or guests who are trying to get to the restroom in the middle of the night.
Secure all loose area rugs. Place double-sided carpet tape or slip-resistant backing on all loose rugs around your home. Don’t forget bathroom rugs.
Rearrange furniture. Ensure no furniture is blocking pathways between rooms.
Consider stair gates. If young kids will be visiting your home for the holidays, or you have children who live in your home, consider installing childproof gates at the top and bottom of your stairs to prevent children from accessing them without adult supervision.
If a fall happens, do not panic. Take several deep breaths, assess the situation and determine if you’re hurt. If you’re badly injured, do not try to get up. Instead, call for help from a family member or neighbor. If you’re alone when a fall happens, slowly crawl to the telephone and call 911 or a relative.
Source: AAOS and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA)