Slips, Trips, and Falls

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Falls are the major cause of household injuries. Most falls happen when someone slips
on icy, wet, or slick surfaces; trips over a loose rug, toy, or other object; or stumbles
on stairs.

Tips to reduce the risk of falls

  • Use rubber-backed rugs on hard floors.
  • Avoid very thick carpets and rugs with busy patterns, especially on stairs.
  • Replace loose, torn, or frayed rugs.
  • Replace wooden stairs and floors that are broken, warped, or rotted.
  • Install non-skid strips or mats and grab bars in the bathtub or shower.
  • Keep stairs and walkways clear of cords and clutter.
  • Be sure outdoors and indoors stairs and hallways are well lighted.
  • Install handrails on both sides of all staircases.
  • Before climbing a ladder, be sure it is in good shape and is stable. Never stand on the top two rungs of a ladder. Have a friend nearby in case you fall.
  • Repair broken or uneven concrete in walks and steps.
  • Keep sidewalks and steps clear of snow and ice in winter.
  • Spread sand or salt on icy spots.

Tips to protect young children from falls

  • Don’t let children jump on beds or other furniture.
  • Install rails on their beds to keep them from falling.
  • Don’t use infant walkers. These cause many serious injuries each year, especially on stairs.
  • Install safety gates at the top and bottom of all stairs if you have a toddler.
  • Install guards on upper floor windows.
  • Adjust electric garage doors so they reverse easily when they hit something.
  • Make sure everyone in your family wears a helmet when riding a bike.

Source: Wisconsin Department of Health Services