HealthDay News — Toddlers seen in the emergency department (ED) after falls at home are more likely to have parents/guardians who do not use safety gates or teach their children not to climb onto kitchen counters or furniture results of a study published in JAMA Pediatrics indicate.

To estimate associations for risk and protective factors for falls from furniture in children aged zero to four years, Denise Kendrick, DM, of the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a multicenter case-control study at hospitals, minor injury units, and general practices in the U.K.

Of the 672 children aged four years and younger who were seen at medical centers for injuries suffered at home, 59% experienced head trauma, 19% suffered cuts and grazes that did not require stitches, and 14% reported fractures.

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The researchers noted that 60% of the children did not require treatment, 29% were treated in the emergency department, 7% were treated and discharged with follow-up appointments, and 4% were admitted to the hospital.

Patients aged one year and younger were more likely to have been left on raised surfaces, had their diapers changed on raised surfaces, and to have been put in car seats or bouncing seats on raised surfaces. Children aged three years and older were more likely to have played or climbed on furniture.

“If our estimated associations are causal, some falls from furniture may be prevented by incorporating fall-prevention advice into child health surveillance programs, personal child health records, home safety assessments and other child health contacts,” concluded the investigators.


  1. Kendrick D et al. JAMA Pediatrics. 2014; doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.2374