Preventing Slip and Fall Accidents at Home

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), emergency departments treated 2.2 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults in 2009.

The CDC also reports that falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for all children through age 19. Every day, approximately 8,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for fall-related injuries, almost 2.8 million children each year.

The danger of having a fall accident is a reminder of the importance of wearing a medical alert bracelet or medical alert necklace. Wearing medical ID jewelry will inform medical personnel of your health condition, medications, emergency contacts, and other important information.

There are a number of ways to reduce the likelihood of a fall accident occurring at home.

The most general way to reduce the chance of falling is to reduce clutter around the house, paying special attention to the stairs, the kitchen, and around the bed.

Wearing socks on hardwood and other types of smooth floors can be dangerous due to their lack of traction. Although less slippery than socks, going barefoot is not wise because it increases the risk of getting a cut. Wear slippers or shoes with skid resistant bottoms.

Rugs can be a hazard when navigating around the home. Place a skid resistant rug pad under larger rugs. Double-sided tape can help keep small rugs in place.

In the bathroom, install bars and a non-slip mat in the tub and/or shower stall.

There should be a light in reach of the bed to prevent falls while stumbling in the dark trying to find the nearest lamp. Nightlights should be installed in various places around the house, especially in hallways and the bathroom.

Although all of these steps will provide more safety from falling around the home, it remains important to wear medical alert jewelry at all times.

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