kids

Kids are suffering severe head injuries after falling from change tables.

It’s the pram accidents that get most of the attention. Dramatic footage of prams rolling onto train tracks has made parents very aware of the importance of using the brakes.

But the general manager of Kidsafe Victoria, Jason Chambers, wants parents to realise that some of the worst injuries happen at home, when kids fall from change tables.

“They’re very high,” Chambers points out. “If a child rolls off a change table onto the floor at home, that’s when you are more likely to have the more severe injuries. Anything where a head injury is involved, there is the potential for that to be not just a short-term injury, but lifelong.”

Chambers says people might be surprised at how quickly an injury can happen.

“It might just take the parent turning around quickly to get the nappy. It only does take that split second for a child to be able to roll off.

“Because we use them so much, and they are designed for children to use, we might not immediately think that there’s a danger associated with them.”

Pram accidents send a lot of kids to hospital. Photo via iStock.

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Figures have just been released, showing how many young children end up in hospital following different types of accidents.

According to the Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit at Monash University, almost 600 children in Victoria were taken to hospital for pram injuries over the space of three years. In that same period of time, nearly 400 Victorian children suffered injuries from cots and cribs. On top of that, close to 400 were injured due to high chairs, and more than 300 went to hospital following change-table accidents.

Chambers says these numbers are not dropping. He has some practical tips for parents wanting to keep their kids safe.

Prams:

  • Always strap your children in, just as you would if they were in the car.
  • Use the brakes when the pram is stationary, even if it's not on a steep slope.
  • Use the tether strap around your wrist, especially if you have other children with you or you're walking the dog.
  • Don't hang shopping from the handles or overload the storage compartment underneath the pram, because both these things can cause tipping.

Cots:

  • Don't put anything in the cot that a child could use as a foothold or boost to get out, such as a toy, a cushion or a cot decoration.
  • If the cot has an adjustable base, put it on the lowest level as soon as the child can sit up.
  • Make sure there are no dangling curtain or blind cords near the cot, as children can become tangled in them.

Don't make it easy for your child to climb out of the cot. Photo via iStock.

High chairs:

  • Use the harness straps, so your child can't try to stand up while in the high chair.
  • Make sure the chair isn't placed near anything dangerous, such as a heater, a blind cord or a kettle.

Change tables:

  • Consider buying a change table with a harness strap or high sides.
  • Make sure you have everything you need for the nappy change within reach.
  • Keep one hand on your baby at all times.
  • If your child is rolling around a lot, consider changing their nappy on the floor.

Have you got any advice about child accidents?

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