Fall Prevention for Seniors
As people grow older, the consequences of falls grow more serious. Studies show that 25% of seniors who experience a fall, and 50% of senior patients admitted to a hospital for a fall injury, will die within one year. Falls are the most common cause of fatal injury in people 65 or more years old. Fractures from falls are a leading cause of disability and commonly result in loss of independence. Most falls happen in the home and can be avoided.
Hazards such as poor lighting, narrow stairs,
and slippery surfaces can increase the chances of a
fall. Reduced fitness can lead to weakened
muscles, and prescription medicines can cause
dizziness, fatigue, or vision problems - all of
which can be contributing factors.
For more information:
Preventing Falls for Children
Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal, unintentional injuries and emergency department visits for children younger than 15. Each year in the United States, there are more than 120 fall-related deaths and 2.5 million emergency department visits among this age group. Children less than 5 years old account for more than 50% of both categories (National Safe Kids).
- Most infant falls are from furniture, stairs, or walkers (older
baby walkers can pose
multiple risks of injury).
- Most toddler falls are from windows and balconies.*
- Most falls involving older children are from bikes, skateboards, scooters, and playground equipment.
In the U.S., over 3,000 children under the
age of 6 fall from windows every year, with 70%
falling from second or third story windows. In
Oregon, about 50 fall from
windows annually. The majority of window falls
occur between the months of May and September,
typically during warmer weather when windows are
open for cooling and ventilation. Window falls are predictable, therefore preventable.
For more information visit The Campaign to Stop Window Falls
More facts about all types of child-related falls:
- Pediatric falls are associated with the combination of curiosity and lack of motor-skill development (the former generally outpacing the latter), thus children ages 10 and under are at greatest risk for death or serious injury from falls.1
- Children living in apartment buildings are more likely to fall from windows than those living in single-family dwellings.
- Apartment/condominium complexes are more likely to have balconies and walkways than houses and duplexes.
Child Fall Prevention Tips
Proper supervision is essential:
- NEVER leave children unattended on changing tables, beds, sofas, etc.
- Strap children into highchairs, swings, strollers, etc.
- Don’t let children play unattended on balconies, porches, and/or fire escapes.
- Don’t let children play near windows or patio doors.
Don't create your own hazards:
- Avoid use of baby walkers on wheels; all baby walkers should
meet current ASTM standards.
- Use safety gates at tops and bottoms of stairs if infants
or toddlers are in the home; gates should meet ASTM standards.
- Move furniture away from windows and draperies.
- Window screens are intended to Keep Bugs Out not Kids In: install window guards where needed. Use window guards that meet current ASTM standards for emergency exiting.
- Use slip-resistant mats or stickers in bathtubs
Oregon is the perfect place to enjoy a bike ride,
scooter, or time at the local skate park. However, don't
let a tragedy ruin your outing. Almost 200,000 children
visit an emergency room every year because of an injury
while biking. Ensure your safety by following the tips
Wear a Properly Fitted Helmet
Most deaths are due to a head injury. A head injury
is a brain injury. That is why helmets are so
important! A helmet reduces your chances of a head
injury by 88%. Keep in mind that there are
different styles of helmets for biking,
skateboarding, or skiing.
Step-by-step instructions on how to fit a helmet.
Watch a one-minute video from Safe Kids USA on
Properly Sized and Safe Bicycle
Riding a safe bike that is the correct size can also
help keep you safe.
- When on your bicycle, stand straddling the
top bar so that both feet are flat on the ground
- There should be 1-3 inches of space between
you and the top bar.
- Make sure your seat, handlebars, and wheels
- Check and oil your chain regularly
- Check your brakes to be sure they work well
and are not sticking
- Check your tires to ensure they have enough
air and the proper tire pressure.
Be Seen, Be Safe
Wear bright clothes and put reflectors on your bike
so motorists have a better chance of seeing you.
Also, follow the rules of the road by biking on the
right side of the street and using hand signals when