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PLAYING: How to safely encourage walking in infants?

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How to safely encourage walking in infants?

5 mins to read Jul 6, 2024

Hey there! As your little one starts to explore the big, wide world, it's natural for them to become more curious and mobile. But let's face it, keeping up with their newfound adventurous spirit can be a bit of a challenge!1

One of the first things to tackle is ensuring your furniture is secure. As they begin to pull themselves up and navigate around the house, it's essential to make sure everything is stable and safe.1

Keeping your baby safe while they learn1

Here are some tips to keep your baby safe while they learn to move around:


  • Start learning on soft surfaces like carpets or playmats.
  • Avoid stairs.
  • Always stay close to your baby.
  • Keep the space clear of obstacles like magazines that could trip your baby.
  • Keep your baby away from door hinges, radiators, radiator pipes, and fireplaces.


  • Leave hard or sharp objects around your home.
  • Stand or walk your baby on high surfaces like beds or sofas.
  • Have hot or boiling liquids like tea or coffee around when teaching your baby to walk.
  • Leave your baby unsupervised on a baby-changing table; your baby may roll off the table.

Baby Shoe2

  • When your baby is learning to walk, it's best to let them go barefoot. Feeling the floor with their feet helps them learn balance and stability. Plus, they get to experience different textures.
  • If you want to protect your baby's feet or keep them warm outside, you can get soft sole shoes. Avoid buying trainers or fancy shoes for babies.
  • Make sure the shoes have enough room for your baby's toes to wiggle around. Check them regularly if you've bought shoes for your little one.

How can falls be prevented?3

  • Kids often catch us off guard with their quick development. A toddler might surprise parents by climbing onto something they couldn't reach before. It's crucial to help parents understand the risks as their child grows.

Preventing Falls and Injuries in Toddlers4

When little ones start walking, they can be wobbly but move super-fast, which means they might trip and fall. Here's how to keep them safe:

  • Keep using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs until your child is at least 2 years old.
  • Teach your child how to climb stairs, but always supervise them—kids up to 4 years old might still need help.
  • Don't let children under 6, sleep on the top bunk of bunk beds—they could easily fall out.
  • Keep low furniture away from windows, and make sure windows have locks or safety catches. Keep keys handy for adults in case of emergencies.
  • Keep using a 5-point harness in highchairs and pushchairs.
  • Keep sharp objects like scissors, knives, and razors out of reach.
  • Use special devices to prevent doors from closing fully, so little fingers don't get trapped. Close doors at night to prevent fires from spreading.
  • If furniture has sharp corners, use corner protectors to keep your child from bumping their head.

What do we mean by a serious fall?3

  • When we talk about falls, we're not referring to the everyday bumps and trips kids experience. Those are part of growing up and can't always be avoided. But serious falls, like a toddler tumbling from a window or a baby falling headfirst off a bed, are the ones we worry about.
  • These types of falls can lead to severe head injuries, causing long-lasting effects on a child's learning and behavior. They're heartbreaking for families and can change lives forever.

Windows and Balconies:3

  • It's tempting to open windows and balcony doors, especially after a long winter, but it's important to be cautious. Toddlers are curious explorers and may accidentally fall out, leading to serious injuries. A young child is hospitalized every day due to falling from a building.
  • As toddlers learn to walk and climb, they become more adventurous. They're eager to explore their surroundings, which is fantastic! But it's easy for falls to happen when parents aren't aware of their child's new skills.
  • While it's impossible to watch them every second, there are simple ways to prevent serious falls:
    • Install safety catches or locks on windows.
    • Keep keys to window locks in an easy-to-reach spot, especially in case of emergencies like fires.
    • Keep furniture away from windows to prevent climbing.
    • Make sure there are no objects near windows that children can use to climb.
    • For homes with balconies, always supervise young children and keep balcony doors locked when not in use.

Stairs Safety for Little Ones3

  • When babies start crawling and walking, it's a big step in their growth. But with these new skills comes a bit of wobbling and tumbling. It's normal for them to get a few minor bumps along the way!
  • However, it's super important for parents and caregivers to know what could really hurt their little explorer. One big danger is falling down stairs, which happens a lot to crawling babies and toddlers. Did you know that more than 40 kids under five end up in the hospital every week because of stair falls?
  • Babies and toddlers just can't resist the urge to check out everything around them, including those intriguing stairs! But here's the thing: they don't realize how risky it is. They might try climbing up and tumble back down or crawl up and take a spill.
  • That's why it's crucial to put up something to block their way and keep them safe. Here's what we suggest for parents and caregivers:
    • Put up a safety gate to keep babies and toddlers away from the stairs.

By taking this simple step, you can help prevent accidents and make sure your little one stays safe while they're exploring their world.

Highchair Safety Reminder3

  • Falling from a highchair can lead to a bad head bump, especially since highchairs are usually in the kitchen, where the floor is hard.
  • Kids grow and learn fast, and accidents can happen in a flash. Parents might not expect it when their child suddenly tries to stand up in the highchair.
  • Here's an important tip for parents: Make safety a part of your daily routine. That means always strapping your child into their highchair whenever they sit down to eat.


  1. Moving and being active: Early years movement skills and development. NHS. Available at: Last access at 25.03.2024.
  2. Learning to walk. NHS Trust. Last reviewed: 1 November, 2023. Available at: Last access at 25.03.2024.
  3. Child Accident Prevention Trust. Available at: Last access at 25.03.2024.
  4. Baby and toddler safety. NHS. Page last reviewed: 6 September 2022. Available at: Last access at 25.03.2024.