When a Baby Falls

It’s something every new parent experiences, even when you try your best to avoid it—your baby falls. It could be off the bed, the couch, a chair or anywhere you thought would be safe but wasn’t.

Falls can happen when your baby:

  • Isn’t securely fastened into a high chair, shopping cart or car seat
  • Can roll over or move her body a short distance. If you place her on the bed, it only can take a second when you look away for a fall to occur.
  • Is in an infant walker. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns against ever using these devices on wheels. Nearly 75% of infant walker injuries occur when the walker and baby fall down a set of stairs.

If your baby falls, seek medical attention if your child:

  • Is unresponsive or loses consciousness
  • Vomits
  • Appears drowsy
  • Has a noticeable dent at the injury site
  • Has black and blue discoloration around the eyes or ears
  • Has blood coming from the ears
  • Has clear fluid coming from the nose

In most cases, infant falls result in minor injuries—or no injuries at all. But if you’re unsure after your child falls, it’s always best to call the doctor.

To prevent falls:

  • Always use seat belts or safety harnesses to keep your child secure in a car seat, stroller, high chair, baby swing or shopping cart.
  • Never place a car seat in the front part of the shopping cart or in the basket.
  • Never leave your baby unattended on a bed or changing table.
  • Never place a car seat or other infant seat on a countertop or high surface.
  • Install safety gates in your home to prevent your baby from reaching the stairs.
  • Do not use a baby walker. A stationary bouncer with no wheels attached is safer; but keep this device away from stairs, as well.

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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