Fall safety for kids on the go

When you're out and about, consider taking these precautions:

  • Strollers. When shopping for a stroller, look for one with a wide base that is less likely to tip. Always use the safety harness when your baby or toddler is in the stroller. To avoid tipping the stroller, don't hang bags from the handles. Check the weight limit of strollers that have a place for older children to stand in the back.
  • Shopping carts. Shopping carts can tip easily. Only put a child in the designated seat and use the safety belt. Don't let your child sit in the basket, stand in the cart or hang from the sides of the cart. An adult should push a cart when a child is in the seat.
  • Playgrounds. Seek out playgrounds with shock-absorbing surfaces, such as wood chips, mulch, rubber or sand. Falls on cement, packed dirt and turf are more likely to result in injuries. Steer your child to age-appropriate activities to help prevent falls from equipment.
  • Helmets and other protective gear. Always have your child wear a helmet while biking, inline skating, skateboarding or riding scooters. When using skates, a scooter or a skateboard, your child should wear guards for the wrists, elbows and knees.
  • Escalators. Hold your child's hand when using an escalator. Watch for loose clothing, shoestrings or shoes such as flip-flops that can cause tripping. Don't let your child sit or play on an escalator. Don't use a stroller on an escalator.
  • Watch for slippery surfaces. Encourage your child to approach wet, dark and paved areas with caution in cold temperatures. Make sure your child wears shoes or boots with traction in bad weather. A heavy or bulky coat can provide cushioning in the event of a fall. Teach your child not to run around a swimming pool.

Keeping your child safe from falls takes more than luck. Follow these precautions, and you'll go a long way toward preventing injuries.

Dec. 21, 2016 See more In-depth