Babies are fairly resilient, as bones are still soft and a bit more elastic than an adult’s, so that falls onto soft surfaces rarely result in fractures (e.g. from a bed to a carpeted floor).
It is however helpful to know what to do in the event that your little one does have a fall.
Immediately after a fall:
- Comfort your baby and carefully feel and examine the whole body, running your fingers over the skull, clavicles, arms, torso and legs.
- If your baby is conscious but irritable, try some sugar water i.e. 30ml of water with half a teaspoon of sugar. Give your baby a dose of paracetamol syrup (5ml of syrup for 10kg or 1 dropper measure of drops).
- Allow your baby time to settle.
- Sleepiness is not a worry and is part of recovery from the shock.
When to worry after a fall:
- A significant fall, for example, from a table to a tiled floor. Note that immediate crying is reassuring
- Loss of consciousness
- Open wounds with possible underlying fractures as these will need immediate attention
- Depressed fractures of the skull (like a dent in a ping pong ball)
- Failure to move a limb as this might suggest a fracture
- Persistent vomiting
Consult your doctor or take your baby to the nearest emergency unit if he / she fails to settle or if any of the above worries persist.