Falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries among children ages 0 to 19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Falling is also a common cause of injury among older Americans, resulting in over 8 million trips to the emergency room for nonfatal injuries.
Luckily, household falls are avoided. Here are some tips for preventing the most common household accident.
Give support where needed
Especially for young children and older adults, make sure every stairway in your home has a guardrail. For slippery surfaces like bathtubs, mount a handrail on the side for extra support when climbing in and out. And always use baby gates for stairways if you have young children.
Avoid unsafe playgrounds
One of the biggest places for falls among children is playgrounds. Make sure the playground is safe, sturdy and free from deteriorating wood or rusty metal. Choose playgrounds that are well-maintained and clean.
Provide protective gear for playtime
If your child is participating in sports, make sure they have access to protective gear that can protect them from a fall. This includes helmets, knee pads, elbow pads and/or wrist guards.
Keep rugs in place
It’s easy to trip on a loose rug. Use double-sided tape to keep rugs from sliding on floors and prevent tripping.
Make bath time slip-free
Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors. This can help prevent accidental falls for people of all ages.
Keep your home well-lit
Sometimes the best way to prevent falls is to improve your vision. Keep your home well-illuminated and use lightweight curtains or shades to reduce glare. Keep stairways lit, as well.
The more items are on the floor, the higher the chances of tripping on something. Keep your floors clean and clutter-free. This is especially important on stairways and other high-traffic areas.
Only use step stools when necessary
Keep your most-used items in a low, easy-to-reach place so you don’t have to use step stools as often.
Keep cords and cables off the floor
You can attach cables and other cords to trim with nail cable clips. This will keep them off your floors and out of the way.
These essential tips are designed to bring household falls to a minimum. But remember – accidents do happen. If you or a loved one fall, GoHealth is here for you. Our urgent care centers regularly treat injuries from household falls. Stop by our nearest location when you need us.