Prevent Falls

by Your ER Doc on February 1, 2012

What is this plague that causes numerous visits to the emergency department for young and old alike? One word: falls. And three-quarters of them happen at home. And unless your home is built out of bubble wrap, that could cause an injury–sometimes a devastating one.

The best way to reduce the risk of falls is to keep our bodies in shape and our minds alert. But there are many practical things we can do to help prevent them around the house as well.

For the younger set, here are some simple rules:

Don’t leave babies unattended on beds, tables, or couches. Get rid of sharp corners. Block stairs. Secure area rugs, or get rid of them.

For older folks:

Remove area rugs. Eliminate electric wires and other trip hazards. Get rid of step stools and ladders so we are not tempted to get on them and fall. Use non-slip mats in bathrooms. Make sure the home is well lit. Install handrails. No loose-fitting slippers. And know whether medication can cause dizziness.

Watch your step out there!

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