Falls are the major cause of householdinjuries. Most falls happen when someone slips on icy, wet, or slick surfaces;trips over a loose rug, toy, or other object; or stumbles on stairs.
Tips to reduce the risk of falls
- Use rubber-backed rugs on hard floors.
- Avoid very thick carpets and rugs with busy patterns, especially on stairs.
- Replace loose, torn, or frayed rugs.
- Replace wooden stairs and floors that are broken, warped, or rotted.
- Install non-skid strips or mats and grab bars in the bathtub or shower.
- Keep stairs and walkways clear of cords and clutter.
- Be sure outdoors and indoors stairs and hallways are well lighted.
- Install handrails on both sides of all staircases.
- Before climbing a ladder, be sure it is in good shape and is stable. Never stand on the top two rungs of a ladder. Have a friend nearby in case you fall.
- Repair broken or uneven concrete in walks and steps.
- Keep sidewalks and steps clear of snow and ice in winter.
- Spread sand or salt on icy spots.
Tips to protect young children from falls
- Don’t let children jump on beds or other furniture.
- Install rails on their beds to keep them from falling.
- Don’t use infant walkers. These cause many serious injuries each year, especially on stairs.
- Install safety gates at the top and bottom of all stairs if you have a toddler.
- Install guards on upper floor windows.
- Adjust electric garage doors so they reverse easily when they hit something.
- Make sure everyone in your family wears a helmet when riding a bike.