Home safety: Fall prevention

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Learn how to prevent falls from occurring in your home, including how to spot common causes of falls and how to fall-proof your home.  

Key points 

  • Constant supervision: Keeping a close eye on your child at all times is crucial, even within the safety of your home.
  • Stair safety: Install gates at both the top and bottom of your stairs. Ensure the area around the stairs is free from clutter.
  • Furniture and window safety: Attach heavy furniture to walls to prevent tipping and keep furniture away from windows to discourage climbing. Always maintain a hold on your baby during diaper changes and avoid placing infant carriers on elevated surfaces.

Falls are the leading cause of hospital admissions from injury for children aged 0-14 years, but many of these injuries can be prevented! Learn how to prevent falls from occurring in your home, including how to spot common causes of falls and how to fall-proof your home.

Falls by age 

Falls are often predictable and preventable, with common falls occurring in different areas depending on a child’s age. 

  • Infant falls happen at home, by falling from a raised surface such as a parent’s arms, a bed, couch, change table or down the stairs. 
  • Toddler falls usually occur at home from slipping, tripping, or falling out of bed, down the stairs or from furniture. 
  • Children four to nine years of age are most likely to fall outside the home at playgrounds.

Common areas for falls at home 

Sleeping and changing areas

  • Never place babies in car seats or other carriers on tables or other furniture.
  • Use safety straps provided on changing tables and always keep one hand on your baby. 
  • Lower the crib mattress once your child can push up on their hands and knees.
  • Once a child is taller than 90 cm (35.5 inches), move them out of the crib and into a toddler bed.
  • Do not let children under six years of age sleep on the top bunk of a bunk bed.
  • Teach children not to jump on furniture.


  • Install stair gates at the top and bottom of stairs.
  • Never use pressure mounted gates at the top of stairs, as children may be able to push them over. 
  • Clear furniture, toys, clothing, and other tripping hazards away from stairs. 
  • Teach children to walk slowly up and down the stairs, and to use the handrail. 

Windows and balconies 

  • Add window locks or guards so windows or sliding doors do not open more than 10 cm (4 inches). 
  • Move furniture away from windows and balcony doors.
  • Lock balcony doors with childproof locks.

Chairs and walkers 

  • Never use baby walkers that have wheels – these are not approved for use in Canada. 
  • Always buckle your child into their highchair, stroller, or other carrier.
  • Never leave your child unattended in any infant seat including swings, bouncers, and jumpers.


  • Clear spilled water off the floor to prevent slips. 
  • Use a non-slip bathmat in the tub and on the bathroom floor. 

What to do if a fall occurs 

Call 911 if your child: 

  • has seriously injured their head, neck or back
  • is unconscious. 
  • is having trouble breathing. 
  • is having a seizure. 
  • is vomiting.

Bring your child to a health-care provider or the emergency room if:

  • they are experiencing any of the symptoms above. 
  • they are in a lot of pain.
  • you are concerned that they have a broken bone. 
  • you did not see the fall occur. 
  • they have a bleeding wound that appears deep or does not stop bleeding.
  • you are unsure what to do.

If your child is not experiencing any of the symptoms above after a fall:

  • look for any injuries. 
  • use soap and water to clean any minor cuts or scrapes.
  • let your child rest, as needed. 
Last updated: May 14th 2024