My 1-year-old child is now trying to walk. She got hurt many times. Sometimes we had to rush her to the pediatrician. Mostly she used to hurt her tongue, cheek and head. My parents and I cannot prevent her from falling. Sometimes out of frustration I used to think we should put some kind of helmet on her. Please suggest some thing which will protect her from getting hurt.

3 Answers 3

  • Watch her and catch her when you can, and comfort her when you don't.
  • Learn how to judge the severity of the fall. Generally, if she cries, the fall isn't too bad. If she is groggy and does not respond, then you need to contact a doctor.
  • Also carefully monitor the state of your child after a fall to make sure her condition returns to normal. If anything seems wrong or if you feel worried, just contact your doctor.

Our little one has had some nasty falls – face hitting both shelves of the coffee table, face into a fence pole (blood nose, trip to hospital), falling backwards off couch – and many many smaller ones. For the smaller ones, like the ones you describe, she sometimes cries, sometimes just says "bonk" and sometimes is furious. But she always reacts promptly and normally, so we know that nothing is wrong, even though it looks bad.

Kids fall. It's a part of learning about the world. Just may your world safe so that when they fall, they are less likely to do any severe damage. Ironically, they will learn to walk better if the environment is not too 'padded'. They might start tripping over the edge of the rug, but don't take the rug away, as it acts as a device to teach them how to walk more stably. Same goes with socks and somewhat slippery floor, and sand and bark, and walking on a trampoline. They're all more difficult than basic walking, but they help the child learn to walk better.

And learn to worry less about it.

  • 3
    +1 to this. I am also the parent of a non-walker and have heard in several places anecdotally (so not from an authority) that the falls are an essential part of learning to balance and therefore an essential part of learning to walk without falling faster.
    – justkt
    Commented Jul 8, 2013 at 13:49

While falling and getting hurt are part of learning to walk. Here are a few tips that may help:

  • She needs furniture without sharp edges to pull up on and help her balance. Keep a close eye on her to prevent her grabbing onto unsafe or unstable surfaces.
  • A carpeted surface (short nap so it doesn't trip her) is a softer landing spot than ceramic tiles.
  • Keep the floors clear of things she could trip on.
  • Block off unsafe areas, like stairs.
  • Practice walking with her, holding her two hands. The more practice she gets, the sooner she will gain her balance.
  • Until she is walking outside, let her walk barefoot. If it is cold, consider soft booties with leather or leather-like soles where she has full range of motion in her feet and reasonable grip.

A helmet is not advised as it could slip and cause injury to head or neck.

  • In my experience assisted walking practice has not reduced falls with a new walker. My child preferred to walk assisted rather than cruise before walking and still often does despite the fact that she can walk unassisted. She still falls as regularly as any other new walker.
    – justkt
    Commented Jul 8, 2013 at 13:50

Trying to entirely prevent her from hurting herself will be futile and even if you could, it may ultimately do her more harm in the long run. I will explain...

Getting slightly hurt when she falls is crucial to her development. She will not learn to protect herself from falling, if falling apparently has no unpleasant consequences.

If you put a helmet on her, for example, she would learn that hitting her head on things is perfectly fine. This obviously not something you want her to learn.

Having said that. Obviously you need to do what you can to avoid serious injuries, by blocking off stairs etc.

A normal fall from toddler height, onto the floor usually wouldn't require a hospital visit. You do however need to learn what to look for to make this determination.

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