Pediatric falls: state of the science

Pediatr Nurs. 2009 Jul-Aug;35(4):227-31.


Falls in the adult inpatient hospital population are an identified safety concern associated with significant morbidity, mortality, prolonged length of stay, and even death. Yet, little is known about falls among pediatric inpatients. A survey of Child Health Corporation of America hospitals was conducted to determine current fall-related practices in pediatric hospitals. The 29 (69%) responding hospitals were found to vary in their definition, classification, and measurement of fall and injury rates. Variability was also described in type of risk assessment tools used, with only six indicating use of a validated tool. A variety of prevention strategies were also described. These findings highlight the need for consensus in a definition of pediatric falls in order to appreciate the prevalence of falls among pediatric inpatients, greater application and testing of published risk assessment tools, and evidence-based prevention strategies among inpatient pediatric patients.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control
  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Hospitals, Pediatric / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Safety Management