Falls Across the Lifespan

Fall Prevention Month

Fall Prevention Month takes place each November.

Grey Bruce Public Health works with local service providers, businesses, and community members to raise awareness and help prevent falls and fall-related injuries across the lifespan.

Check out the locally developed Fall Prevention Month website for Fall Prevention Month-related promotional materials, activities, and additional resources for adults and children.


Preventing Falls - Children

Children Playing

Did you know that most injuries to children happen in the home? Most of these injuries are both preventable and predictable.



What is a fall?

A fall is when we lose our balance and end up on a lower level than where we began. Sometimes, we refer to a fall as a slip or trip and they can happen with or without injury.

How can a fall affect my child’s health?

Children who fall may experience a variety of short- and/or long-term health effects.

Short-term effects may include:

  • Bruising
  • Cuts & scrapes
  • Fractures or breaks
  • Pain
  • Concussions

Long-term effects may include:

  • The need for surgery to repair a break or fracture
  • A loss of confidence resulting in a fear of falling
  • The long-term effects of a concussion

Are falls frequently occurring in Grey Bruce?

Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries in Grey-Bruce. In 2021, local emergency departments saw individuals between the ages of 0 and 19 over 2,000 times; between 5 & 6 patients per day.

What activities may put my children at risk of a fall?

As children grow, where they are likely to experience a fall changes.

  • Infants and young toddlers typically fall at home – from beds, change tables, high chairs, furniture, or down the stairs.
  • Older toddlers tend to fall while running, walking, or crawling around the house.
  • Children between 5 and 9 years old most often fall at playgrounds.
  • Older children, from 10 to 14 years old, may experience falls while participating in extra-curricular sports activities.
  • Youth aged 15 to 19 experience falls while participating in sports, but also out in their community (E.g. at skateboard parks). Additionally, this age group tends to engage in more risky behaviour that may result in an increased risk of a fall.

How can I reduce my child’s risk of a fall?

Depending on your child’s age, behaviours, and typical activities, there are a variety of ways you can work to reduce your child’s risk of experiencing a fall.


  • Get down to your child’s level and look around your home to identify hazards through your child’s eyes.
  • Make sure your child is buckled in their highchair or stroller every time to prevent them from falling out as they move around.
  • Always keep one hand on your child if they’re on a high surface, like a change table or other furniture, to prevent them from falling to the ground.
  • Never set car seats or other carriers on top of furniture, only on the floor.
  • Do not use baby walkers with wheels, they are banned for sale in Canada as they pose a serious risk of falling down the stairs.
  • Use stair/baby gates in your home. Always install these gates according to the manufacturer’s instructions and with locking mechanisms placed away from the child. Learn more about safety gates here: Safety gates - Canada.ca
  • Place furniture away from window or balcony door handles so children cannot open these areas where they could fall from a significant height.
  • Use window stops or guards and keep balcony doors locked.
  • Keep high-traffic areas and stairs free of clutter and tripping hazards.


There are 3 “Stages of Vigilant Care” recommended by safety experts to encourage active supervision while still giving children the opportunity to explore and develop.

  • Open observation: This is the starting stage; you play alongside and are non-intrusive in your child’s activities.
  • Focused attention: As you spot warning signs, risk increases. At this point, check in with your child, talk and reflect on how to manage that risk. Once that happens, return to the open observation approach.
  • Active intervention: This is when there is an immediate change needed to reduce risk. You may intervene, but be sure to use language that empowers your child and prompts them to return to safety.


  • Encourage your child to respect and follow the rules of the sport or activity.
  • Ensure your child is wearing properly fitted equipment, especially footwear to prevent falls.
  • Make sure all sports equipment is in good working condition and not expired to best prevent injuries, including concussions.

Where can I learn more?

For more information on child falls and how to prevent them, check out the resources below:


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