According to statistics from the National Safety Council (NSC), accidental injury is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Falls account for 28% of deaths occurring as a result of accidents in the home. For adults 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of death in home accidents (87%). Those statistics are alarming. Accidents from falls in the home are preventable, and there are several measures you can take as a homeowner to reduce the risk to you and others living in your home.
- Secure rugs: It’s very easy to trip on a loose rug no matter your age. Secure rugs to avoid tripping hazards by using double-sided tape to keep the rug from bunching or sliding on the floor.
- Slip-free bathtub/showers: Slip and fall injuries are very common in the bathroom, especially in the bathtub/shower. You can reduce your risk of injury from a fall by using non-slip mats on bathtub/shower floors.
- Install guard rails and baby gates: Guard rails give support when climbing stairs, especially for older adults. A ‘baby gate’ will also prevent young children from being injured by falling on stairs.
- Clean up clutter: Clutter in the home can cause slip and falls accidents. Make sure to keep high-traffic areas and stairs free from debris and clutter.
- Attach exposed cords: Attach exposed extension and cable cords with nails or other secure clips to keep them off the floors in your home and away from the areas where you commonly walk to avoid slips and falls.
- Avoid using ladders/step stools: Keep essential and frequently used items in lower and easily accessible areas. Avoiding the use of ladders and step stools will reduce your risk of injury from falls in the home.
You can read about fall prevention from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).