Falls are common in young children, but not always harmless. A fall may lead to an injury.
However, even in children who do not have injuries, falls can lead to future problems in the long term. There is some evidence that suggests that sleep disturbances after a fall can be related to developmental disability later in life.
If your child falls and is not injured, it is important to monitor them for any changes in behavior or mood.
Children with recent falls should also be watched for changes in sleeping habits. If you notice any changes, contact their doctor immediately.
Falls in children
Children between the ages of one and three are at the greatest risk of injuries after a fall, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Falls are likely to happen during sleep. Falls in children between the ages of one and three are at the greatest risk of injuries after a fall, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Falls can be the result of a sudden change in posture or sudden excessive physical movement in sleep. Falls can be the result of a sudden change in posture or sudden excessive physical movement in sleep.
How falls can affect later development
Several studies have shown that children who suffer from recurrent falls early in life tend to have slower cognitive and motor skills development, such as vocabulary and gross and fine motor skills. Early data also suggest that children with multiple falls may have a higher risk of later developing behavioral problems.
Varying degrees of cognitive impairment has been seen in children with falls. Two studies suggest that sustained damage to areas of the brain may cause learning disabilities and learning difficulties.
There is no scientific consensus as to whether recurrent falls can lead to more serious developmental problems, but some studies suggest that children who fall frequently show signs of delayed development, such as delayed communication, social skills, and language.
The importance of monitoring for changes after a fall
In 2013, a study from the University of California Davis looked at the long-term effects of falls and sleep disturbances in children.
After being treated for a minor fall that caused no lasting effects, many of the study participants continued to have sleep problems. They reported significant disruptions in sleep, and these symptoms lasted more than 2 years after the initial fall.
The researchers found that the majority of children continued to have trouble sleeping and moving about after the initial fall.
The sleep disturbances and daytime sleepiness persisted for at least 2 years in over 80 percent of children.
Falling is a natural part of growing up. Children who are able to catch themselves before hitting the floor are less likely to suffer injuries.
Keeping an eye on your child while they play is one of the most important things you can do to keep them safe.