Falling out of bed can be a huge shock to the system, especially if the person who has fallen was in a deep sleep. Even worse than the shock of falling from a bed though, is the injuries that it can cause.
Astonishingly, NHS data taken from the reporting period of 2020-2021 shows there were 21,213 hospital adissions as a direct result of falling out of a bed.
Not so surprisingly though, were the age ranges of these hospital admissions, as seen below in this simplistic chart.
Very clearly, the data shows that most injuires and hospitalisations caused by falling from bed occur in the very young (under 4 years of age) and in the elderly (60+).
So how can we prevent falls from bed, and more importantly, avoid injuries and visits to the hospital?
Let’s look at a couple of products in detail. Below is a handly table of contents. Click on a heading to be taken directly to the relevant section. We are Amazon Associates, and make commissions on qualifying purchases.
Table of Contents
But First – Practical Safety Advice On Falling Out Of Bed
Whether you or a loved one falls into the category of young or old or not, everyone should follow this one piece of practical safety advice regading falling out of bed.
And it’s really simple: Keep areas around the bed (where you get in and out of bed, and anywhere where a fall could possibly occur) free from objects that could cause injury if fallen on.
So that means having a completely clear area around the sides of the bed with no objects that could cause an injury if they are fallen on, like pieces of furniture, lamps, books, glasses or cups, laptops or tablets, or anything else that could cause injury.
It’s also prudent to keep these areas clear anyway, for example if you wake in the night needing the bathroom, the last thing you want is to be tripping over objects in the dark. Fire safety is also an important thought here too – if you need to get out in the event of a fire, you want a free and unobstructed path to the door.
To sum up then, clear the area surrounding your bed, make it clutter free and make this clear area a gold standard.
Fall Prevention – Babies And Toddlers
It’s hugely important that newborns and children up to the age of around two sleep in cots which are designed with fall prevention as a priority. And babies up to the age of 6 months should never sleep in the same bed as their parents, due to the potential of falls and of course, accidental suffocation according to ROSPA.
However, once the cot stage is done, toddlers should move into a bed. But it shouldn’t be any bed, it should be a children’s bed that is considerably lower to the ground than a normal sized bed.
This reduces the risk of injury to a child, because they are essentially falling a few centimetres rather than a foot or more.
Some toddler beds also come with some sort of built in rail or guard to stop them falling out. Take this one for example:
However, even without the railing we see here, any fall from this bed would have minimal impact and minimal chance of sustaining any sort of injury – a bruised ego maybe, but a good learning curve.
Not all are like this though. Children’s beds and marketing efforts behind these beds can often lead to purchases that haven’t been thouroughly thought through. Take this bed for example:
This might be suitable for an older child, but it’s definitely not suitable for a toddler, and although I couldn’t see the specifications on the product page, it still looks at least a foot from the edge of the bed to the floor – which would undoubtedly lead to some sort of injury.
Fall Prevention – Young Children (5-10)
In 2020, 480 children aged between 5 and 10 years old required hospital treatment due to falling from a bed.
Granted, some of these falls may have been through misuse of the bed (namely jumping on it), but a lot will simply be accidents where the child is asleep, rolled over and fallen out of bed.
As a parent myself, I’ve heard the dreaded ‘thud’ and then heard the subsequent tears shortly thereafter.
At this age, they are more likely to be in a bed that is higher than they are used to, and doesn’t have built in rails.
However, they are still at an age where falling from their bed is a possibility. To guard against this, consider using a portable guard rail, as seen below.
These guard rails simply slide under the matress, and extend in an upright position to protect the child from falling out of bed.
It is cheap, lightweight, portable, and folds down for easy storage and are also available in different colours.
Fall Prevention – Elderly
It’s a harrowing fact that as we get older, we lose some of our senses and mobility.
Both of these play a huge part in falling from bed.
When a child falls from a bed and injures themselves in the process, they have a greater chance of recovering quickly than an elderly person who may already have various conditions or ailments.
Often, when an elderly person suffers a fall, it can lead to a quick and dramatic demise due to the fact that when we all get above a certain age, our bodies take longer to repair themselves.
To reduce the risk of unwanted falls from bed, consider using the product below.
This adjustable bed rail is a lot more sturdy than the children’s version. Of course it needs to be more sturdy, because of the weight difference between a child and an adult.
This adjustable bed rail slips under the matress and has a safety strap to hold the rail firmly in place. It can be extended horizontally to three different lenghts, and a clip button allows the rail to be folded down when it’s not needed.
This is an excellent solution if you don’t want to go ahead and purchase a bespoke adult bed with built in fall protection, and also comes with the added bonus that it can be used as an aid for getting in and out of the bed.
Getting Into & Out Of Bed Safely
For both young and older people, another challenge can be getting in and out of bed.
This can be especially challenging if the bed is a high bed, or there are mobility issues and the person needs a helping hand.
That helping hand, in its most simple form, is a step stool placed by the bed that gives them an easier way of getting in and out of bed.
You can read more about step stools in the article written here on the best small step stools for adults and children.
Here’s a summary of our article on falling out of bed.
- Over 21,000 people were hospitalised in 2020 due to falling out of their bed.
- 100% of these injuries and hospitalisations were preventable.
- The groups with the biggest risk of falling out of bed are the very young and the elderly.
- Reduce risk by removing clutter and items from around areas where falls are likely to happen.
- Install cheap and easy to implement safety features on beds to prevent falls.
Here’s the links to all products featured in this article. All links go to Amazon.co.uk.
Recommended Reading & Links
Here’s a selection of articles you might also be interested in about safety at home.
- Free Smoke Detectors From Your Local Fire Service?
- Why you Should Have A Heat Detector In Your Kitchen
- Fire Safety Plan – Do You Know Yours?
Questions & Comments
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Stay Safe. Stay Secure.