Slip-and-fall accidents are the second leading cause of personal injury, and they can result in broken bones, sprains, head injuries and back injuries. In Florida, falls are the number one cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in the senior population. However, most of these accidents can be prevented with a few simple safety precautions.
A slip-and-fall or a trip accident can result from slippery or uneven surfaces, ice, clutter, cords lying around, loose surfaces, poor lighting, or improper footwear.
Here are six ways you can protect yourself from slip-and-fall accidents:
1. Wear Smart Shoes. Choose close-toed shoes that fit properly and have skid-resistance soles. Make sure not to choose shoes with extra-thick soles. Choose laced shoes over Velcro or slip-on shoes, as they will stay on the feet better.
2. Eliminate Hazards in the Home. Make sure boxes, cords, papers and other items are not crowding the halls or walkways of your home. Replace old flooring that is peeling or loose floor boards. Move items you use often in easy-to-reach places, so you won’t have to use a step ladder. If you are unable to stand in the shower, install a seat.
3. Brighten Up Your Home. Use nightlights throughout the house, so you can see when you get up at night. Keep lamps near your bedside, and turn the lights on before going up stairs in your home.
4. Install and Use Handrails. If you have trouble with your footing or are prone to falling, handrails are an easy addition to any home. Install them in the bathtub, along hallways or anywhere else you might need them. Always use the railing when ascending or descending stairs.
5. Be Aware of Surfaces. Uneven, slippery or loose/gravel-type surfaces can be dangerous. Pay attention to where you are walking to avoid tripping over uneven payment or slipping on gravel. Watch out for bumps, potholes and cracks in sidewalks.
6. Make Your Floors Safe. Use nonslip mats in the bath and shower. Remove areas rugs or make sure they are secured with nonslip backing or nonslip tape.
For more information on your health and safety, feel free to contact Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. Visit us online or call our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-888-741-5119 for physician referrals and health information.