Every year there are an average of 5.1 million injuries and almost 6,000 deaths in the U.S. due to falls. Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in the home. Protect yourself and your family by reading the tips below to prevent injuries from falls.
Within the Home:
- If you have young children in the home, install safety devices in your home such as stair gates and cupboard locks.
- Supervise young children when they are near areas that could be fall hazards such as stairs.
- Install handrails for stairs and steps.
- Keep stairs and walkways well lit and clear from toys and other objects.
- Never leave a child alone near open windows. Even windows with screens are not enough to prevent a child from falling. To reduce this risk, install window guards that have a quick release mechanism in case of fire. Also keep cribs, playpens, beds, and other furniture away from windows.
- Clean up spills when they happen. Wet floors can cause falls.
- Place a mat or non-slip strips and grab bars in bathtubs and showers. Also, use bath mats with a non skid bottom to prevent slipping when getting out of the bath or shower. Use double sided tape or a non-slip backing on small rugs to keep them in place.
- Use a sturdy ladder or step stool when trying to reach high areas.
Outside the Home:
- Wear footwear with traction or ice grippers on your shoes when walking in areas with ice and snow.
- Shovel and use de-icing products on porches, landings, and walkways. Keep handrails accessible and clear of snow.
- Inspect and maintain your child’s playground equipment. Make sure there is a safe, soft landing surface below the equipment such as mulch or wood chips.
- Wear appropriate safety gear when playing sports. For instance, wear a helmet when riding your bike.
More information on preventing falls:
Falls at work
Senior Fall Prevention