Guarding children against trips and falls

Home safety with children

Every year over 390,000 children under the age of 15 are taken to hospital with injuries resulting from a fall at home or in the garden.
Although most falls are not serious, some can lead to injuries with long term consequences. Putting the following safety checks in place can help your child avoid a serious injury.

In the home – general safety tips

  • Bunk and cabin beds are not suitable for children under six – if you do have bunk or cabin beds, teach your child never to play on the top bunk
  • Use safety glass in glass doors and windows or cover the panes with safety film – this will stop children being seriously cut if they trip or fall into the glass

Stairs and banisters

  • When your baby starts crawling and until they are 24 months old, fit safety gates which comply to BS EN 930:2011 to stop them climbing up or falling down stairs
  • Accidents happen when young children climb over or through banisters – if gaps are more than 6.5 cm (2.5 inches), cover the gaps with boards or safety netting
  • Board up any gaps in horizontal rails as they are easy to climb
  • Make sure that stairs are free from clutter like toys or clothes
  • Encourage older children not to play on stairs or run up and down them


  • Fit window locks or safety catches to stop windows opening more than 6.5 cm (2.5 inches) – this should stop children being able to squeeze through
  • Move furniture like beds and chairs away from windows to stop children climbing up and falling out


  • Keep younger children away from balconies unless you are with them
  • Keep balcony doors locked when not in use
  • To make sure children are safe, there should be a barrier at least 110 cm (43 inches) high around the edge of the balcony
  • Board upright railings if they are more than 6.5 cm (2.5 inches)