Watch Your Step!
Stair safety for babies and toddlers
Are you taking all the steps you need in order to keep your baby or toddler safe on the stairs?
From 1999 to 2008, almost one million children younger than 5 years old were treated in the emergency room for a stair-related injury—in other words, approximately one child is brought to the ER every six minutes due to a mishap on the stairs, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics.
Toddlers and preschoolers are more likely to trip or slip as they attempted to navigate the stair by themselves, says researchers. But approximately 25 percent of injuries among children less than 1 year of age occur when they were being carried on the stairs by a parent or caretaker. According to the study, these children are three times more likely to be hospitalized as a result of their injury.
What’s the state of your home’s staircase? Suggestions from the AAP for making stairs safer include installing stair gates at the top and bottom of stairs, keeping stairs clutter-free and in good repair, and installing and using stair railings.
A few mom-to-mom tips? If you regularly tote Baby to the top floor just to change her diaper, create a spare diaper changing area on the first floor to avoid going up and down the stairs all the time (even if it’s just keeping changing supplies tucked in a closet or guest bathroom). And we all know about the dangers of texting while driving, but what about texting while climbing? When navigating steps with Baby, staying focused on keeping your footing steady is probably more important than answering a text or call.
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