Preventing Falls While in the Hospital (Pediatrics)
Falls can cause health problems for children. There are many things that can be done to prevent
falls. This handout is to help you learn more about things that you can do to help your child
remain safe and free from injury. Your nurse will assess your child’s risk for falling. All
children are at some risk for falling while in the hospital, but some are at greater risk than others.
If your child is considered a high fall risk, there will be a yellow leaf placed on the room’s
doorframe. A yellow leaf alerts staff that your child is at risk for falls. Your child will also
receive a yellow fall risk wristband and may be given yellow slippers. These also alert staff of
your child’s fall risk status.
ξ When your child needs help, please use or have your child use the call light to alert staff.
ξ Have your child ask for help before getting up if your child is not steady.
ξ Have your child wear glasses and hearing aids if needed.
ξ Have your child wear non-skid slippers. The staff can provide some if you do not have
ξ If your child has a walking aid, walker, crutches or a brace, be sure to have your child use
ξ Please let the nurses know when you are leaving your child’s room.
ξ Keep crib rails up at their highest position if you are not with your child at the bedside.
Be careful that blankets or sheets do not get in the way of proper crib rail latching.
Always test the crib rail to make sure that it is latched securely.
ξ Be aware that certain medicines such as pain medicine, sedation, heart medicine, and
medicines to increase urine output may make your child feel dizzy or unsteady.
ξ Keep your child’s call light within reach and ask your child to use it when help is needed.
ξ Keep any needed items such as a phone, glasses, walking aids, or cups within reach.
ξ When your child gets out of bed, be sure the bed is in its lowest position.
ξ Watch for slippery spots or objects on the floor. Keep toys picked up off the floor.
ξ If it is a sunny day, close the blinds to reduce glare.
ξ Keep the room clear of extra chairs.
ξ Make sure your child’s room is well lit.
ξ Do not let your child climb on the couch or stand on bed or chairs. We want to prevent
your child from falling against the sharp corners and getting hurt.
ξ Tell your nurse about your child’s bathroom habits. It is helpful to know when and how
often your child goes to the bathroom so your nurse can help plan for any safety needs.
ξ Help your child to use the bathroom before it becomes urgent. If your child has urgency
ask for a commode or urinal to be placed at your child’s bedside.
ξ Have your child use the handrails on the bathroom wall to get on and off the toilet.
ξ Be careful as your child enters and exits the shower or tub. Your child should step over
the short ledge and use the handrails to prevent falls.
ξ When getting out of the shower, watch for slippery spots on the floor. Place a towel on
the floor to stand on when feet are wet.
Safety Beyond Your Room
Walking in the halls is good exercise. Please stay close to your child for support. Your child’s
nurse and physical therapist will help you decide if your child’s walks can be done alone or with
the help of family or staff. Be sure your child wears slippers, glasses and uses a walking aid if
Your child’s safety is important to us! Let us know if your child has any special needs and how
we can help prevent falls.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 5/2016. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing HF#6200