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Toddler Keeps Falling Backwards

We have a really hard hardwood floor and my son has had several hard falls on the head, but the last 3 falls were pretty horrible.

His cousin ran into him and with her body weight slammed him down to the ground which led his head to hit first to the ground. It was so hard that I saw his head bounce. He threw up once right after and couldn't walk well (minor concussion).

Then a week later, he slipped on water that was left on our hardwood floor so hard that he went head first to the ground hitting the back of his head. Then 30 minutes later, I didn't wipe it enough and he fell again and hit the back of his head again.

He always seems to fall on his back of head first. I hated myself for having water on the floor. This happened 3 weeks ago. Since then, he has fallen on back of his head about 3 more times.

I am wondering if he has a concussion I don't know about. Did I cause a long term damage? Am I the only Mom who has a toddler fall on his/her head constantly? Do other kids fall like this and they are okay?

I have taken my son to the doctor twice for his falls and called the doctor several times. She said he is just fine. Do other moms experience their toddlers falling too when they start walking? I just feel so horrible! He has been walking for 4 months now, and he is so active.

Comments for Toddler Keeps Falling Backwards

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Toddler Accidents - Part One
by: Annie Desantis

It is horrible when our kids hurt themselves, of course we worry and think we are not watching them carefully enough or it is our fault.

All toddlers have many many falls when they are learning to walk, but unfortunately hardwood floors, tiles and polished concrete flooring makes a very hard landing. As you found with one of his falls he did get concussion, and it is actually sadly quite common for toddlers to get head injuries. Falling on carpet or grass or flooring with a bit of give in it, is not such a hard surface, so less likely for the thump to cause concussion.

Get Medical Advice After A Bad Fall

He won't have permanent concussion, but severe concussion can cause brain damage and frequent concussion can affect a child's learning and brain development. I am NOT a doctor, and you have done the right thing by getting him checked out.

Your doctor has said he is fine, so don't give yourself a hard time about it. It is always worth getting him checked, particularly if he vomits or gets sleepy or has a loss of balance after a fall.

It sounds by the way he falls that his feet slip out from under him - rather than falling head first. My son ran instead of walking, and his feet could not keep up with himself and constantly fell head first. He had a permanent bruise on his forehead for about six months. My daughter on the other hand walked very young and was always walking into the corner of the table, so he had bruises from that! I felt like I was a child basher!

Kids will always have accidents, and in fact that helps them to develop better balance and to learn to move their body to "save" themselves when something unexpected happens.

Minimize Danger Zones

You can minimize danger zones - don't have him wearing slippery shoes or socks - you can get socks that have sticky pads on the bottom, but they are probably not going to stop him falling, they just may help with any slipping. Bare feet are actually best as he can feel the floor better and will have more agility.

Of course wiping up spills, and making sure there are not slippery mats or clothes left on the floor, but you are never going to to be able to prevent all accidents. You could put a mat or two down in areas he constantly falls if you make sure they are heavy with a rubber or non slip backing. You can also move furniture strategically to slow down the runway!

Part Two Follows . . .

Toddler Accidents - Part Two
by: Annie Desantis

The fact that he is falling backwards does suggest his feet slip out from under him, rather than just tripping over his feet or an object. He will get better balance as he grows - you did not actually say how old he was, but since he has been walking for four months he will be gaining more skills and physical dexterity.

Help Him Stay Confident

Of course you will be feeling anxious, but don't hover over him telling him to be careful or to slow down all the time. He needs to have full physical movements to learn how to control his body. If you are anxious around him every time he starts running, he will pick up on that and may well get a bit less confident.

Toddlers do fall a lot but most modern flooring is not a really a safe landing. One thing you might want to consider is a safety helmet! Sounds weird I know, but many parents are now putting their little one's in specially designed helmets to protect their brains from constant falls.

Thudguard Baby Safety Helmet would be the one I would recommend, I have seen some other soft foam ones that are next to useless.

Thudguard is endorsed by neurologists and pediatricians, and is made of lightweight high density foam and is specially designed so it does not interfere with the developing neck muscles or head. Being lightweight and a bit stretchy, not hard or heavy like a bicycle helmet makes it more comfortable to wear and it won't slide around.

Since he seems to have lots of falls, and always the same way, it might be something worth considering.

Please don't blame yourself - ALL toddlers have falls, some of them many times a day. Many toddlers end up in hospital after falling down stairs or off furniture - my grand daughter just recently was hospitalized. It is not possible to wrap our kids in cotton wool and prevent all accidents, we can only minimize the risks as much as possible.

Good luck,
Annie Desantis :)

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