Preventing Falls at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

>>When you bring your child to
CHOP for an admission or an appointment, would you ever consider
that he or she would be at risk to fall? Falls can happen in a hospital, and we need
your help to keep your child safe during your stay with us. All patients are at risk of falling, but some
patients are at higher risk because of their age, their developmental stage, the treatment
they are receiving, or even the hospital environment itself. For example, because of their age and developmental
stage, toddlers have a lot of energy and want to explore their environment. Adolescents and teens like to be independent
and may forget to ask for help when getting around their hospital room. Also, certain types of medications can cause
patients to be unsteady on their feet. These are just some examples of how your child
could be at higher risk of falling while at the hospital or at an outpatient location. We are asking you to partner with your child’s
healthcare team so that we can all work together to make sure your child remains safe during
his or her stay with us. You can help us to keep your child safe from
the risk of falling with these action steps.>>Let your nurse know on admission if your
child has fallen at any time in the past due to a medical condition or side effects of
medications. Be sure that your child is wearing skid proof
socks, which the nurse can provide for you. Also, be sure that your child’s clothing is
not dragging on the floor. And, when possible, make sure to walk the child
when they are out of bed, especially if he or she is connected to medical equipment. Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure
your child is safe during their visit. First, be aware that the Hospital rooms are
different from those at home. We have taller furniture, harder floors, and
movable equipment. The call light and bedside tables should be
kept within yours or your child’s reach. And keep the side rails up on your child’s
bed or crib. He or she can easily fall out if you happen
to step away. For safety reasons, we recommend cribs for
children 3 years old and younger. And remember, for safety reasons, the day
beds, those couches and chairs that open up, are for family members. Patients can easily fall off the couch and
get injured. Keep a clear pathway in your child’s room
so there are no tripping hazards. Partner with your team to make sure equipment your child no longer needs is removed from the room. Always buckle the lap belt when your child’s
in a stroller, wheelchair, highchair or wagon. Your nurse will talk to you about ways to
keep safe and offer you some printed information with helpful reminders. We are better when we work together, and together
we can prevent patient falls at CHOP.

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