Safety Check: Stand Up to Falls
Home is the place where we feel most safe, so it may come as a surprise to hear that falls in the home are one of the leading causes of injury-related death in the U.S., second only to poisoning. Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries, including concussions.
Eliminating Tripping Hazards
Prevent falls at home—and at work—by removing the sources of tripping:
- Secure electrical and phone cords away from walking areas, such as hallways or in front of your desk
- Use non-skid rugs and be sure to tape them down to prevent rolling
- Keep drawers and cabinets closed when you’re not using them
- Wear proper footwear, paying special attention to outdoor conditions
- Clean up any spills immediately and include warning signage if necessary
- Refrain from walking while distracted - stay focused on your surroundings
- Ensure there is adequate lighting in your workspace
- Don’t carry more than you can handle—large loads can obstruct your vision and affect your balance
Preventing Falls in your Bathroom
Falls can happen anywhere, but in your home, the bathroom is one of the most dangerous places. According to the CDC, about 235,000 people over age 15 visit the emergency room each year due to a bathroom related-injury. Older adults are especially susceptible. According to the National Institute on Aging, 80 percent of senior falls happen in the bathroom due to slippery floors and surfaces.
Keep loved ones of every age safe:
- Place a non-slip mat both inside and outside of the tub
- Plug in nightlights in and around the bathroom for increased visibility
- Clean up any condensation or puddles on the floor
- Place nonslip decals on the bottom of your shower or tub
- Keep shampoo, soap and other bath products higher up to avoid bending
- Install grab bars by the toilet and in or near the shower and tub to assist older adults
- Make sure the bathroom door swings outward in case of a fall
Make your home safer by starting at the source. Remove tripping hazards around your home and ensure your bathroom is slip-free to eliminate the risk of falling.