Children aged 4 years and under were more likely to fall from furniture at home and require medical treatment if their parents didn’t use safety gates and didn’t instruct children not to climb on things in the kitchen, according to a study published Dec. 1 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Compared with children who didn’t fall from furniture, those from homes without safety gates were 1.65 times more likely to fall and those not warned about climbing in the kitchen were 1.58 times more likely to end up in an emergency department or minor injury unit or to be admitted to the hospital, reported Dr. Denise Kendrick of the University of Nottingham (England) and her associates (JAMA Pediatr. 2014 Dec. 1 [doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.2374].

Childen also were more likely to be injured if they were left on a high surface (odds ratio, 1.66), although the effect was much more prominent in those aged 0-12 months (OR, 5.62).

“If our estimated associations are causal, some falls from furniture may be prevented by incorporating fall-prevention advice into child health surveillance programs, personal child health records, home safety assessments, and other child health contacts,” Dr. Kendrick and her associates wrote.

The analysis involved data from 672 children who had fallen from furniture and 2,648 controls who had not fallen on the date of the case’s injury.

The researchers did not report any conflicts of interest.