At Tufts Children's Hospital, we are committed to reducing patient falls, in the hospital and at home. As part of our fall prevention program, our nursing staff assesses every patient, every day, for the risk of falling. Based on your child’s individual risk, we may implement a number of strategies to help prevent falls. These include placing a yellow caution sign at the foot of your child’s bed to remind your child to ask for help, as well as using an alarm system that notifies staff if your child gets out of bed. Our nurses will work with you and your child to take other proactive steps, such as offering your child the chance to use the bathroom regularly and consulting physical therapists to evaluate and treat possible mobility problems.
All Tufts Children's inpatients are now asked to wear yellow, non-slip socks while in the hospital, regardless of your age. This helps remind patients—as well as family and our staff—that your child may need assistance walking or getting out of bed.
What patients can do
Even if your child is usually steady on his/her feet, a stay in the hospital can be challenging. Your child is in unfamiliar surroundings, may feel weak after surgery or treatment, or may be taking medications that make him/her feel sleepy or disoriented. Your child may also be connected to IVs or other equipment that makes movement difficult. Have your child take the following precautions to help prevent falls:
What you can do as a parent:
- Ask for assistance from the nursing staff, especially at night.
- Ensure the call button, telephone and other personal items are nearby.
- Keep the bed in the lowest position.
- Sit at the edge of the bed for a few minutes before getting up to avoid feeling dizzy.
- Report any spills or objects that are on the floor.
- Wear non-skid footwear.
- Ensure there is adequate light.
- Understand the care and treatment.
- Pay attention to the care. Tell a nurse or doctor if something doesn’t seem quite right.
- Make a list of questions for all providers.
- Get the results of any test or procedure.
- Speak up with questions or concerns.
- Ask a staff member to assist with, or move, any equipment.
- Share health history and up-to-date information about care with the care team.