Falls Prevention within the Children's / Neonatal Unit

Children’s Services Colchester General Hospital Turner Road Colchester CO4 5JI

Children’s Ward 01206 746208 or 746209

Children’s Assessment Unit 01206 746200

Children’s Elective Care Unit 01206 744237

Children’s Outpatients 01206 746177

Neonatal Unit 01206 742857


Our aim is to make the Childrens unit as safe as possible for children and visitors. This includes raising awareness about the risk of falling and giving information about how to reduce the risk.

More Information

Children may not be able to spot hazards and may behave in a way that increases the risk of falls. This, in addition to being in an unfamiliar environment, can greatly increase the risk of falls.

Children may also be unsteady due to the effects of the medication they are receiving or if they have had a general anaesthetic.

  • Keep floor spaces as clear as possible – toys and belongings on the floor are a trip hazard. Try to keep your child’s bed space tidy. Use the storage provided and put away toys that are not being used
  • Be aware of wet floors – areas such as kitchens and bathrooms may have wet floors. If you spot a wet area please let staff know immediately. Do not try to clean up a substance if you do not know what it is because there may be a risk of infection. Floors that are in the process of being cleaned will have warning notices displayed. If these areas cannot be avoided, extra care should be taken.
  • Follow ward guidance on the use of equipment – this may include high chairs, bouncer chairs, baby baths etc. Please do not use them if they are broken. Alert staff immediately.
  • Use your own equipment safely – this is at your own risk because it has not had a hospital safely check. Please do not leave a child unsupervised in a pram or pushchair, even with a safety belt, as another child may tip it over. if you need to leave your child, please inform a member of staff who may be able to supervise him or her
  • Cot safety – unsupervised babies should be placed in a cot with the sides fully raised (even if you are in the same room). Bouncer chairs may be used within the main cot but please ensure the cot sides are fully raised
  • Use moving and handling aids correctly – if your child has been given a mobility aid, for example a frame or wheelchair, please ensure it is used only in the way shown. Furniture should not be used for help with standing up
  • Be aware of equipment that is attached to your child, eg leads for monitoring equipment or drips which could be a trip hazard for your child and you. If the equipment cannot be detached when moving your child, please ask a member of staff to help you
  • Unsuitable clothing – if possible, provide your child with suitable clothing to wear on the ward. Avoid clothing that is too long and encourage the wearing of slippers or shoes (wearing only socks is a hazard on hard floors) Flip-flops are not recommended
  • Supervision of siblings – always supervise your other children when visiting. Running and climbing in the unit Is not allowed
  • If your child uses a walking aid or wears glasses/hearing aid please bring them in
  • Mobilising against advice or without support – younger children or children with learning difficulties may not fully understand the advice given to them or may disregard it.

It is important to repeat information given to your child a number of times. Your child will need to be supervised appropriately. If you need to leave your child, please inform nursing staff so that supervision may be provided.

If there is a fall, whether it is a patient or visitor, you should inform the nursing staff immediately. They will attend to the person who has fallen and make the area safe.

Patients will be checked by a doctor. Visitors should go to the Accident and Emergency Department to be checked over and receive treatment.

When your child attends hospital you will be asked to confirm his or her first and last names, date of birth, postcode and NHS number if you know it, and to let us know of any allergies.

Please raise any concerns in the ward or department you are in. Ask to speak with the ward sister, matron or department manager. If your concerns cannot be resolved or you wish to make a formal complaint, please call PALS (Patient Advice & Liaison Service) on 0800 783 7328 or pick up a PALS leaflet.

If you or a family member has recently been in Colchester Hospital, you can tell us about your experience by clicking on or by filling in a ‘Friends & Family’ questionnaire at the hospital.