Prevent Falls

Edited by Pia Marie Villamante, Robbi, Lynn, Ian Gabriel T. Tolledo and 6 others

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Accidents from falls caused by slipping is something we are all familiar with. If you would think of someone you know who may have had this accident, you would most probably recount 1 or 2 people.

Preventing accidents from falling is something that you don't talk about. No one will come up to you and say, "Hi,, how can we prevent falling accidents?" Most of the time, the accident had happened and recovery from the injury is the present buzz of the conversation.

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Why falls happen

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Falls are the fifth leading cause of death and also the leading cause of accidental death in adults whose age is over 65. About 20 percent to 30 percent of people sustain serious injuries from them. It could be a spine injury, bruising, or some sort of bone fracture. This type of accident defy, age, race, nation, gender and place. However there are certain age groups that are more prone like the very young and the very old ones. All it takes is one wrong and careless move, you slip, and the next thing you know, you're on the floor. In line with the national hospital relieve survey, more than 90 percent associated with hip fractures is a result of falling. Three-quarters of all hip fractures take place in women. Approximately 25 percent of hip fracture patients can make a full restoration; 40 percent may call for nursing home; 50 percent may be assisted by a cane or possibly a walker; and 20 percent may die within one year after the fall. If you have heard the adage, "Everything happens for a reason," then its apt to say that "Falls happen for a reason." It could have been due to an underlying illness, an environmental hazard or a particular behavior.

There are 3 factors that influence an accident like falls to happen:

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  1. 1
    Environmental Factors.
    Most of the accidents that pertain to falls are caused by the immediate environment. You can see this happening from a rug lying on a slippery floor, clutters in the room or staircases, slippery or recently waxed cemented floors, and wet bathroom including poor lighting.
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  2. 2
    Behavioral Factors.
    Have you heard your mom admonishing your dad repeatedly on fixing a broken chair? How many times have you been instructed to mop the drops of water from a water pail you carried moments ago? If you can relate to the above mentioned situations, then it is most likely you've seen someone slipped from those drops of water on the floor. You can see yourself laughing because of someones pain. It may be funny for you, but not to the person on the floor. For all you know, he may have sustained a broken limb. Pranks and jokes are best when they don't inflict hurt to people. But there are people who enjoy such thrill that they intentionally leave a rug on a newly polished floor, waiting until someone slips. Falls can also be self-inflicted. This type of fall, however, rarely happens. Statistics shows that about 66 percent of falls are of the same type, usually resulting from trips and slips. Accidents caused by falls from a certain height accounts to the thirty-four percent.
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  3. 3
    Biological Factors.
    The very young ones, like the toddler have yet to develop set of muscles and bones. As such, they are not yet stable when standing up. Couple this with their endless curiosity to explore their environment, and you have the perfect combination of slips and falls. On the other hand, elderly people have the same health issues. Their body are slowly devolving that they don't have the same muscle mass or bone density they used to have. Even those who don't have any illness are prone because of the aging process. Take note that as people get older, many body processes deteriorate slowly, such that the body slowly weakens and loss their optimum functionality. People with muscle, vision and bone-related disorders are more likely to experience slips and falls.
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One good thing about these factors is that they are all preventable. Read on for the following recommendations on how to prevent it.

Preventing Falls

Stairs

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The stairs is the most common cause of falls. Children who play tag, run around the house usually enjoy climbing up the stairs. Children, in their haste to evade the "it" in the game, runs faster on the stairs.

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This alone can cause slips and falls. As such, children should not be allowed to run on the stairs nor play on the flight of stairs.

Find below the reasons for slips and falls and what you can do to prevent them:

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  1. 1
    Rugs.
    Remove the loose rugs from the top or bottom area of your stairs. Rugs will only promote slipping off the flight and falling on the steps. Always repair loose stairway carpets and cracking/old woods as soon as you can. Using bright, solid colored carpet instead of dark, patterned carpeting can show the edges of steps clearly.
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  2. 2
    Clutter.
    Keep your stairs clear of any clutter, boxes, or children's toys that could cause a person to stumble. Though you have been living in your house for a long time and you are used to children playing on the stairs with their toys, it is always better to clear it from things that anyone could step on and be the cause for outbalance. Instruct children not to play on the stairs and explain the reason why for cooperation.
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  3. 3
    Lighting.
    If a handrail is required, install handrails on both sides of your stairway. Each one should be at least 30 inches above the stairs and extend to the full length of the stairs. Make sure that there is sufficient lighting on the staircase area. Installing a motion detector lighting is a good idea or separate switch at the bottom and at the top of the stairs. Always keeps flashlights nearby in case of blackouts. Instruct children not to try to go up in case of black outs unless they have a flashlight or torch to see their way.
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  4. 4
    Flooring.
    Stairs that have vinyls or wood installed should have non-slip treads. This will help stop the forward force of your step when the plight of stairs are waxed or polished.
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Bathroom

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It is very rare that you get to see a dry bathroom. This is especially true when you have kids in the house or there is insufficient number of bathrooms against the number of people that needs to use it.

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This situation brings more trouble to bathroom users in terms of cleaning and increased probability of slips as well:

  1. 1
    Children.
    Make sure that children are accompanied inside the bathroom whenever they need to use it. Never leave them unattended especially if they are not yet toilet-trained.
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  2. 2
    Elderly.
    In order to prevent falls on the senescent, the more able adults can install equipment to facilitate ease of moving around for them.
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Handles with suctions can be installed in the bathroom and bath tub to help them in lowering or lifting themselves when bathing. Sufficient lighting can be installed as well as skid-proof rubber mats inside the bathroom or anywhere else inside the house where slipping maybe an issue.

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Flooring

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Most of the time, it is the floor that causes the slips. An excessively polished floor is one formula for accidents to happen.

  1. 1
    Cleaning.
    When cleaning, floors can still attain their shine without being slippery.
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  2. 2
    You can use skid-proof indoor slippers as well as prevent putting rugs on polished floors.
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  3. 3
    Clean immediately when you spill grease, liquids or food litters on the floor.
    Loose vinyl tiles or board floors should be fixed immediately.
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Lighting

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Coupled with poor vision or illness, poor lighting can lead to accidents. It is recommended to keep a nightlight in the bathroom so as to clearly see the path and avoid slip ups.

Furniture and Cabinets

Keeping away things orderly is a must if one wants to prevent accidents in their homes. But keeping them too far away or too high would prove to be a predisposing factor for falls. Always store dishes, food, and cooking materials within easy reaching.Never stand on chairs or boxes to reach high materials on cabinets to put things away in a hard-to-reach storage cabinet. That is what a ladder is for.

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Illness

Any illness can cause someone to trip, slip and fall. Those that are prone have been mentioned: bone and spine-related illness, vision and brain-related illness as well as diseases that affect motor skills.It is imperative that these individuals are not left alone to fend for themselves to prevent accident and injury.

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Myths about Falls

  1. 1
    It is entirely normal for an elderly to trip, slip and fall because he is aging.
    It is not normal for aging people to slip, trip and fall. Aging is a natural process but it doesn't have to entail injuries from falling off a plight of stairs or stumbling because of poor vision. Aging is something human beings have no control of. However, they can control the environment.
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  2. 2
    It is entirely normal for a kid to trip, slip and fall because he is growing.
    Growing children are normally curious. They like to explore their environment. It is this curiosity that they learn and survive. However, if parents are not there or do not think that accidental hazards can be controlled, children will likely to grow with bruises here and there if not a fractured limb or head.
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Categories : Health & Wellness

Recent edits by: Olivia, Anonymous, Monika

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