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Exploring home fall events among infants and toddlers using social media information: an infodemiology study in China


Background Practical interventions of fall prevention are challenging for infants and toddlers. This study aimed to explore specific details of falls that occurred at home for kids 0–3 years old using key information from social media platforms, which provided abundant data sources for fall events.

Methods We used internet-based search techniques to collect fall events information from 2013 to 2023. The search was restricted and implemented between 1 and 12 April 2023. Online platforms included Baidu, Weibo, WeChat, TikTok, Toutiao and Little Red Book. A qualitative descriptive approach was used to analyse the fall events and major factors, including the fall event time, child age, environmental factors and behavioural characteristics of children and caregivers.

Results We identified 1005 fall injury cases among infants and toddlers. Fall mechanisms included falls from household furniture (71.2%), falls from height (21.4%) and falls on the same level (7.4%). Environmental risk factors mainly consisted of not using or installing bed rails incorrectly, a gap between beds, unstable furniture, slippery ground and windows without guardrails. Behavioural factors included caregivers leaving a child alone, lapsed attention, turning around to retrieve something, misusing baby products, inadequately holding the child and falling asleep with children. Child behavioural factors included walking or running while holding an object in hand or mouth and underdeveloped walking skills.

Conclusion Interventions for preventing falls should be designed specifically for Chinese families, especially considering family function in the context of Chinese culture. Social media reports could provide rich information for researchers.

  • Fall
  • Injury Compensation
  • Social Network Analysis

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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