First Aid: Falls
With all the running, climbing, and exploring kids do, it’s no surprise that falls are common. Although many result in mild bumps, cuts, and bruises, some can cause serious injuries that need immediate medical attention.
What to Do
Call 911 for emergency help and do not move your child if he or she:
- may have seriously injured the head, neck, back, hipbones, or thighs
- is unconscious
- is having difficulty breathing
- isn’t breathing (if you trained to do so, start CPR)
- has a seizure
If you think it’s safe to move your child:
- Comfort your child and look for any injuries.
- Place a cold compress or ice pack on any bumps or bruises.
- Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain if your child is alert.
- Let your child rest, as needed, for the next few hours.
- Watch your child closely for the next 24 hours for any unusual symptoms or behavior.
Seek Medical Care
If Your Child:
- becomes very sleepy or is difficult to wake up
- becomes easily annoyed or upset and cannot be comforted
- vomits more than two or three times
- complains of head, neck, or back pain
- complains of increasing pain anywhere
- is not walking normally
- does not seem to be focusing his or her eyes normally
- has any behavior or symptoms that worry you
- Never leave infants and young children on a bed or any other furniture unsupervised.
- Childproof against falls with gates and avoid using walkers.
- Always strap young kids into high chairs, changing tables, shopping carts, and strollers.
- Make sure kids always wear helmets when biking, skating, and using skateboards or scooters.
Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: April 2014