According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), roughly 8,000 children are “treated in U. S. emergency rooms for fall-related injuries. This adds up to 2.8 million children each year.” In fact, falls are the “leading cause of non-fatal injuries for all children [from birth to age] 19.” Although a great many falls occur while children are playing outdoors, a large number of them happen on staircases.
There are many useful steps that can be taken to prevent children from falling down stairs. You can find additional information on this topic set forth below.
If your child has been seriously injured due to a fall on a staircase, (perhaps at school, in a doctor’s office or elsewhere), you should contact Fort Worth personal injury lawyer Tom Hall. He’s board certified in Texas personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Hall has been representing injured children like yours in Tarrant County for over 25 years.
You can reach the Fort Worth Law Offices of Tom Hall by calling 1-817-831-6100 today and asking to schedule your FREE consultation.
Here are some useful tips for making all staircases safer, including the ones in your own home. If your child has been seriously injured while climbing stairs somewhere else, you may want to check and see if the following safeguards were in place prior to your child’s fall.
Safety Tips for Protecting Children (and Others) from Staircase Falls
- A reduced-slip surface must be properly maintained on every step. Merely keeping a carpeted staircase clean isn’t always adequate, especially once it becomes worn;
- Handrails should be installed which run the length of the stairs. When children are about to fall, it’s always helpful if they can grab hold of a rail to help steady themselves. Make sure any handrails you install are covered with a non-slippery surface;
- Stairs should always be evenly spaced apart – and it’s best to have closed risers between them;
- No doors should ever be located near a staircase. This can pose many obvious hazards;
- It’s best to always install a landing area about halfway up/down the staircase. While this is especially useful for older adults, it can help younger children who also need to stop for a moment and catch their breath;
- At the top of stairs, try to install safety gates that have been highly ranked by one or more reputable parenting or consumer groups. When you fail to do this, curious young toddlers can easily tumble downwards;
- Avoid installing spiral staircases. While their design is often appealing, the added curves and narrow nature of these stairs tends to invite accidents;
- Keep light switches at the top and bottom of all staircases. It’s also wise to install light sensors so that even if a person fails to turn on a light switch (or is too short to reach it), some type of lighting will automatically come on. (However, make the lighting you choose is not so bright that it’s blinding to anyone);
- Always try to locate a child’s room right near a bathroom – or at least on the same floor. Far too many kids sleep walk; they can incur serious injuries while trying to go up or down a set of stairs in the middle of the night;
- Keep the staircase free of any clutter. Not only should it be free of any toys or dolls, it should also be free of any shoes, brief cases, books or other objects;
- Make and enforce a rule that no one is ever allowed to run on the stairs. Since kids often like to run when they’re in a hurry, be sure they know that you will not tolerate any running or skipping down the stairs at any time;
- Consider using paint on some outdoor staircases, especially those leading to a garage apartment. You may want to paint the stair treads one color and the rises a different color. This can help people better gauge how high they must keep lifting their feet – thereby decreasing falls.
If your child (or anyone else) has been seriously injured while on any staircase – and you believe the design of the staircase (or poor maintenance) played a role in the injury -- you should contact the Fort Worth Law Offices of personal injury attorney Tom Hall. You can reach him by calling 1-817-831-1600 today. Ask to schedule your FREE consultation.