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I've Fallen and Can't Get Up!

Randy DeVaul

Posted on December 20, 2019 14:19

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Falling is the leading cause of non-fatal injury for every age group except those that are 15-24. Sometimes we laugh, but many times someone is seriously injured or killed because of falling at home. Heed the tips and make your castle a safer haven.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that children under the age of 5 and adults over the age of 65 have the greatest risk of falling in the home. And, the Home Safety Council’s national report on home safety states that falls from stairs or steps are the second leading cause of death from all falls in the home.

There are numerous fall hazards in and throughout the house. If we can recognize some of these hazards, we can correct the problem and prevent an injury or death of a loved one (or us) as a result.

First, you have to see the hazard. Even with bifocals, I can’t always clearly see what is directly in front of me. Welcome to the land of the age-ed. Regardless of your “visual acuity,” watch where you are going. Don’t climb or descend stairs while carrying boxes or other items that block your view. Carrying all that stuff cannot only make you miss a stair, but it can throw off your balance, crashing you to the bottom. Along those visibility lines, proper lighting in stairwells and hallways is critical to ensure you not only see where you are going but to also help your depth perception with riser heights and stair treads.

Maintain sturdy handrails and use them! Catching a shoe on the carpet or corner of the tread can be fatal without having a rail to reach out and grab. And for all the do-it-yourselfers, make sure you actually build railings for your stairs, decks, and elevated porches.

Stairs are like magnets. They attract boxes, wheeled toys, extra pairs of shoes – all those wonderful “step-on-me-and-I’ll-give-you-a-thrill-of-a-lifetime” ride.

Don’t forget about your low-to-the-ground pets. My bulldog is infamous for standing or lying directly behind me – unseen and unheard – until I turn and body slam to the floor. At least while I’m lying on the floor practicing my vocabulary response with my children present, he is able to console me by sticking his concave nose in my face and snorting.

Ever spill liquid food on the floor in the kitchen? You know, something greasy that leaves a slippery, unseen residue until you step on it. Generally my bulldog is instantly there to clean it up so he can bring it back up later after it makes him sick. That is residue that I don’t care to fall in.

Bathrooms are popular fall locations. Use a non-slip mat in the tub and on the floor. Unlike the bathroom rug that slides gracefully across the floor (followed by you) when your foot lands on it, get a gripper bottom. A slippery surface anywhere can create a slip that is exciting but not fun.

Take a moment right now to look for and fix these fatalities waiting to happen. You can save yourself and your family pain and heartache by keeping yourself safe at home.

Randy DeVaul

Posted on December 20, 2019 14:19

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Source: stltoday.com

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