You Can Prevent Falls!
One of the most common things RMES was dispatched for last year was falls. They can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any age. From slippery floors, spills off of ladders, or walking across the ice that is everywhere in our area these days.
Here are some tips on how to minimize your chance of falling around your home:
1. Clean up clutter. The easiest method for preventing falls is to keep your home neat and tidy. Remove all clutter, such as stacks of old newspapers and magazines, especially from hallways and staircases.
2. Repair or remove tripping hazards. Examine every room and hallway, looking for items such as loose carpet, slippery throw rugs, or wood floorboards that stick up.
3. Install handrails. These safety devices are crucial for going up and down stairs, and stepping in and out of the bathtub without injuring yourself.
4. Light it right. Inadequate lighting is another major hazard. Install brighter light bulbs where needed, particularly in stairways and narrow hallways. Add night-lights in bedrooms and bathrooms for better guidance at night.
5. Wear shoes. Socks may be comfortable, but they present a slipping risk. Preventing falls at home can be as simple as wearing shoes. You can also purchase non-slip socks that have grips on the soles of the feet if shoes are too uncomfortable.
6. Make it nonslip. Bathtubs and showers, as well as floors in kitchens, bathrooms, and porches, can become extremely dangerous when wet.
7. Sand it. Be generous with sand or de-icer on your walkways and decks. It can be hard to tell where the ice is – so be sure to keep your walkways and deck clear of snow.
8. Be ladder safe. Be sure ladders are in good repair, you know how to properly use them and someone knows you’re on one, before climbing on. Makeshift ladders (boxes, chairs etc.) are a no no!
What to do when someone falls
1. Don’t be quick to get them up. Let them get a chance to get their bearings, encourage them to breathe and tell you “what” (if anything) hurts.
2. Call 9-1-1 if there’s any loss of consciousness or confusion, sharp or severe pain in the head, neck, back or chest, pain in the middle of the neck or back, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet or the person who fell doesn’t feel they can get up.
3. If they can get up and move around reasonably comfortably, help them to a safe spot and encourage them to see the friendly team at Care in the Creek to make sure they didn’t hurt anything.
Until next month, stay safe!