Fall-Proofing Your Home for the Holidays
America’s orthopedic surgeons are offering fall prevention safety tips for the home, just in time for the holidays.
Falls are dangerous and can cause serious fractures that could impact one’s ability to move and carry-out daily functions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 300,000 adults age 65 years and older, are hospitalized for hip fractures each year, and more than 95 percent of hip fractures are caused by falling.
You can minimize the risk by following these tips:
- Reduce clutter. It’s easy to accumulate clutter, such as boxes of decor and stacks of gifts from holiday shopping. Take the time to declutter your home, especially the hallways and stairs.
- Designate a play area. Children may receive lots of new toys for the holidays and scatter them around the house. It’s important to contain those toys in a dedicated play area and clean up the toys after kids are done playing to avoid tripping.
- Keep walkways clear. Keep the path between your front door, driveway and mailbox well-lit and clear of debris.
- Install nightlights. Keep the halls/walkways in your home well-lit and consider a nightlight in your bathroom. A clear path is especially helpful for family members or guests who are trying to get to the restroom in the middle of the night.
- Secure all loose area rugs. Place double-sided carpet tape or slip-resistant backing on all loose rugs around your home including the bathroom.
- Rearrange furniture. Ensure no furniture is blocking pathways between rooms.
- Consider stair gates. If you have young kids who will be visiting for the holidays, or who live in your home, consider installing child-proof gates at the top and bottom of your stairs to prevent children from accessing them without adult supervision.
- If a fall happens, do not panic. Take several deep breaths, assess the situation and determine if you are hurt. If you are badly injured do not try to get up, instead call for help from a family member or a neighbor.
If you are alone when a fall happens, slowly crawl to the telephone and call 911 or relatives.
And with that gruesome, cautionary image in mind, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season!
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