Fall Protection Tips to Keep You Safe
Whether you stumble down a couple of stairs or trip over something on the floor, falls happen all of the time. To prevent serious injury, it is important to know how to protect yourself, particularly if you are older. The following fall protection training tips will help you prevent falls, as well as stay safe in the event of a fall.
Keep Your Home Safe
In your home:
- Make sure rooms are free of clutter on the floor
- Add more lighting
- Use carpet runners to prevent a rug from slipping
- Have rails on both sides of your steps
- Use a non-skid bath mat
- Consider buying a cordless phone to keep nearby to prevent rushing to answer a call
- Don't walk around your home in slippery stockings or socks
Take extra precautions
If you are drinking alcohol or taking medication that may impair your balance, be extra aware of your surroundings.
Be aware of your pets
According to a report released by the CDC, more than 86,000 fall related injuries are caused by a pet. Make sure that you are aware of where your pets are. If you have a dog, sign him up for obedience training to prevent him from getting too excited and knocking you off balance.
Improve your balance
One of the most common reasons for a fall involves someone losing their balance. However, you can do exercises to improve this skill. For example, hold onto the counter or the back of a sturdy chair and stand on one leg for a full minute. As your balance improves, increase the length of time you stand on one leg or try it with your eyes closed.
Pay attention to your surroundings
This is particularly important in unfamiliar situations, such as dark parking lots. Wear low heeled shoes in these scenarios, be on the lookout for uneven areas, and don't rush yourself.
How to Fall Safely
If you can't prevent a fall, there are certain things you can do to decrease your chances of an injury. Keep your head up and turned to the side if you are falling forward or put your hand behind your head if you are falling backwards. You want to protect your head from injury, if at all possible.
Be certain your entire palm slaps the ground to slow down your fall, as well as to help prevent a broken wrist. Do not lock your elbows. If possible, avoid falling on your side. Try to land on your butt to prevent your hip from being fractured.
Don't tense up when you begin to fall. Take a deep breath to keep your body relaxed and flexible to significantly reduce your chance of serious injury.
If you fall from a high distance, be sure to roll as you hit the ground. This spreads out the impact on your body, instead of focusing it in one place.