About the Children's Toolkit
Falls are often considered part of the childhood experience, but they can result in serious injuries. Since children are 'top heavy' they often fall headfirst when they trip or lose their balance, falling to the ground and causing serious neck or head injuries. These types of falls are made worse when a child falls from furniture and hits their head on objects as they fall (e.g. coffee table, night table, headboards on beds). Between 2012-16, 262,826 young children aged 0-6, visited an Emergency Department (ED) in Ontario for fall-related injuries. For children younger than age one, falls while being carried or supported by other people contributed to over half (54%) of the ED-visits. In 2016, for children aged 0-3, the leading causes of injury falls resulting from slips, trips, and stumbles on the same level, falls involving a bed and other furniture, and falls on and from stairs/steps. Falls For older children aged 4-6, resulted from slips, trips, and stumbles on the same level, falls involving monkey bars and falls on and from stairs and steps were the top three leading causes of injury in 2016. (Ontario Injury Compass, Issue 17, November 2017).
Physical literacy involves children developing their skills and confidence to be active in many different sports and physical activity settings. Physical literacy can be developed at any stage of life, but is easier if learned as a child. The development of fundamental movement skills is essential for growth and development. From ages 0-6, children should be encouraged to run, jump, throw, catch and balance (Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, 2015). In this stage of life, physical activity should be fun, not competitive. Parents and caregivers play a large role in modeling activity for their children. Parents and caregivers should always be present when their child is learning a new skill to supervise and ensure safety to reduce the risk of falls and injury (Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, 2015). There are many benefits of increasing physical literacy, such as lowering the risk of obesity and chronic disease, and having stronger bones and muscles. This in turn increases independence, and decreases the risk of falls (ParticipACTION, 2017).
The Ontario Childhood Injury Prevention Committee (OCIPC) is committed to being a leader in childhood injury prevention within the Province of Ontario. We are engaged in promoting and supporting positive, long-term change in how we understand and act upon the well-being of our communities. From 2013 to 2017, OCIPC has been involved in the Locally Driven Collaborative Projects funded by PHO and ONF. Some of the accomplishments include creating the website www.preventchildinjury.ca to address falls prevention, poisonings and burns/scalds among children from birth to 3 years. Parents can register to receive email at various age and developmental stage of their child. The website also offers downloadable resources such as facilitator guide, training presentations, home safety checklists (French and English), and webinars for knowledge exchange.
OCIPC provided direction and oversight for the development of the children toolkit with special contributions from:
Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation
The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation is the sponsoring and implementation organization for the Fall Prevention Month initiative with the following responsibilities:
- Provides and manages funds for the campaign
- Maintains oversight of the campaign
Toronto Public Health
Toronto Public Health led the development of the Child Fall Prevention Social Media Toolkit and completed an environmental scan of Child Fall Prevention Resources.
For a list of the contributing members of OCIPC and contributors from 2010 to 2017, please refer to our backgrounder.
Our goal is to develop a concrete plan and to engage community stakeholders in implementing evidence based strategies that target parents/caregivers of children from birth to 6 years of age through promoting age and developmental stage based fall prevention key messages.