The children are going back to school, happy to see their friends again. They are playing to their heart's content and are, of course, eager to show off their new tricks to each other. Are they doing tricks on the monkey bars, tree house, or maybe sliding down the stairs? Then you will want to know everything there is to know about a fall from a height.
Did you know?
Chantal starts the conversation with some facts about a fall from, for example, the monkey bars. After all, it can happen to any child:
“The cause of a visit to the Emergency Room for children up until the age of 5 is often a fall from height. A baby's head is about 25% of their total height; in an adult, this is only about 6%. The head of a small child is therefore a considerable (and heavy) part of the total body. That is why children quickly end up on their heads.”
“You have to do something that goes against your instincts!”
The big question is, of course, what you should do if your child did fall. Chantal explains:
“We often say that parents should follow their instincts if they suspect that something is wrong with their child. However, in the event of a fall from some height, you will have to do something that may go against your instincts. If a child has fallen from a height, you should leave them there. You are probably inclined to pick the child up immediately and comfort them. However, you will want to know if there is a head, neck, or spinal injury, so take a moment to see if the child stands up on their own and moves their body (arms/legs) again:
In the event of a serious fall from height, it is important to check the child's vital signs. Remember, the vital functions are breathing, consciousness, and circulation.”
What should you do in case the accident turns out to be very serious?
“It's scary to think about, but you still have to be prepared for every situation for the safety of your child. After a fall, is your child not responsive or are they unconscious? Call 1-1-2 or have someone close to your do so. Is the child no longer breathing regularly? Start with the resuscitation. Always stay with the child and make sure he or she does not move while you wait for the emergency services arrive. Only place the child in the recovery position if they are vomiting. But beware: this is the only exception if the child has a spinal injury.”
And what if the accident is not severe? What should you do then?
“In that case, you can cool the bump using a cold pack. When in doubt about the severity of the fall, always contact the GP or GP post.”
How do you respond to an emergency?
So, lots of information about a fall from a height. How would you respond to an accident when the adrenaline is rushing through your body? Make sure to stay calm and know how to act. Take a first aid course and learn what you can do for your baby or child. Should something happen, you can then be confident in the moment about how to act.