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Infant Falls and Drops

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CE1020 | Contact Hours: 2


The objective of this activity is to provide information to health care professionals about infant falls and drops during the immediate postpartum hospitalization. Following the completion of this activity, you will be able to:

1. Identify the difference between infant falls and infant drops.
2. Identify risk factors contributing to infant falls and drops and how to modify those risk factors.
3. Describe what makes an infant high falls risk and how to screen infants for falls risk.
4. Identify established standard precautions for prevention of infant falls and drops in all infants regardless of falls risk status.
5. Describe interventions to take with high falls risk infants to decrease the risk of falls and drops.






Olivia Campbell, RN


All learners must complete the entire activity and complete the evaluation to receive contact hours.


This nursing continuing professional development activity was approved by the Ohio Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. (OBN-001-91).

In addition to states that accept American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) courses, CE Leaders is an approved provider by the Florida Board of Nursing, and a registered provider with the Arkansas State Board of Nursing, District of Columbia Board of Nursing, Georgia Board of Nursing, Kentucky Board of Nursing, New Mexico Board of Nursing, South Carolina Board of Nursing and West Virginia Board of Registered Nurses (Provider # 50-33450).


No one with the ability to control content of this activity has a relevant financial relationship with an ineligible company.


The best day of a patient’s life, their little bundle of joy has arrived: the woes of pregnancy, the trials of labor and delivery, nothing else matters anymore besides the tiny life in their arms. No one- health care professionals, parents, visitors- expect this infant to be a victim of an infant fall or drop. There is a common misconception that infant falls and drops are uncommon when “it has been estimated that 600 to 1,600 newborns in the United States experience an in-hospital fall every year” (1). The rate of infant falls and drops during the postpartum hospitalization is estimated due to the stigma surrounding and infant fall/drop which leads to underreporting (2). While there are numerous causes of newborn falls/drops, assessment of infants for a falls risk status is rarely performed. According to the CDC, the third leading cause of infant mortality in 2018 was injuries (3) such as those sustained during a fall or drop. With everything at stake for the newborn and their family, most health care providers are still not assessing infants upon admission for their falls risk and identifying means to reduce the potential for a fall/drop to occur.


1. Preventing newborn falls and drops. Quick Safety: An advisory on safety & quality issues. Available at Published March 2018. Last accessed on June 6, 2022.

2. Condo DiCioccio H, Miner J. Prevention of Newborn Falls/Drops in the Hospital: AWHONN Practice Brief Number 9. JOGNN. Available at Published August 11, 2020. Last accessed on June 6, 2022.

3. Infant mortality. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at Published September 8, 2021. Last accessed on June 8, 2022.

4. Corley H. What's the difference between infants, newborns, babies, and toddlers? Verywell Family. Available at,Definitions,newborns%2C%20infants%2C%20and%20toddlers. Published January 13, 2020. Last accessed on June 8, 2022.

5. Preventing postpartum newborn falls in the hospital. Consult QD. Available at Published June 6, 2018. Last accessed on June 8, 2022.

6. Rouse MD, Close J, Prante C, Boyd S. Implementation of the Humpty Dumpty Falls Scale: A Quality-Improvement Project. Journal of Emergency Nursing. Available at Published January 21, 2013. Last accessed on June 11, 2022.

7. McNeely HL, Thomason KK, Tong S. Pediatric fall risk assessment tool comparison and validation study. Journal of Pediatric Nursing. 2018;41:96-103. doi:10.1016/j.pedn.2018.02.010.

8. Falls Prevention. Available at Last accessed on June 11, 2022.

9. Ainsworth RM, Summerlin-Long S, Mog C. A Comprehensive Initiative to Prevent Falls Among Newborns. Nursing for Women's Health. June 2016. Available at Last accessed on June 11, 2022.

10. Safe sleep. Home/ Patient Care/ Safe Sleep. Available at Last accessed on June 12, 2022.

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