Slips, Trips and Falls in Kids

Kids are more likely than adults to slip, trip and fall (STF). This is because they are so gangly and don’t have the sense of balance that adults do. They have a tendency to impact the ground head first when they slip, trip or fall and it is common to have a cranial facial injury. In one study, they looked at kids who suffer from craniofacial injuries after a fall from the ground. Wound types and the type of injury looked at are studied according to the severity and mechanism of injury of the slip, trip and fall.

They looked at a total of 750 children who had an STF and sustained some type of cranial or facial injury with an imaginary line extending from their ears to their eyebrows as being the line between cranial and facial injuries. The children sustained soft tissue injuries like contusions, abrasions and lacerations. The level of consciousness was measured using the Glasgow Coma scale.

The results of the study showed that the peak time of sustaining a slip or trip that caused facial injury is the toddler age. Falls were more common in the under age 1 period, most of those with serious injury were in the preschoolers. Most had slips and trips at home (73 percent) and actual falls occurring 86 percent of the time. Lacerations occurred most commonly in slips and trip (67 percent) than in falls (25 percent) contusions are more often in falls (67 percent) compared to slips and trips (27 percent).

Fortunately, 98 percent of all patients were spared having a craniofacial injury. On the other hand, a third of all contusions occurred at the back of the head, which could be a source of cranial injury. Falls seemed are related to getting more brain injury than in slips and trips.
The researchers concluded by saying that slips and trips with craniofacial injuries are more common than the public thinks. Falls seem to cause more brain injury than slips and trips, even when the falls occur from the ground. The home is the place where most children fall and the incidence of falls occurs when development is not maximized
It appears that homes aren’t as baby proofed as parents would like to think. There should be padding applied to all sharp corners and sharp surfaces to decrease the incidence of head or face contacting the sharp surfaces. Furniture that cannot be made more safe mean that this furniture should temporarily be removed from the living space. Serious brain or facial injuries are rarely associated with falls from stairs or on the ground at home. Even furniture falls do not result in serious injury.

Some of the more serious injuries occur from falls associated with playground injuries. Parents need to educate their child on the proper use of equipment at the playground and should be taught to walk and not run because the surfaces of playgrounds can trip a child up. In addition, they should be encouraged to share equipment so that children don’t pile up on climbing equipment, getting in the way of other children playing.

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