Understanding the most common types of falls can help you identify your personal level of risk, giving you an opportunity to make changes that can help keep you safe. If you own or manage a company or store, it can also help you to understand how to keep workers and customers safe. The three main types of falls include:
1. Accidental Falls
Accidental falls are those that happen to healthy people who do not have conditions that predispose them to falls. These falls typically happen due to a hazard that could have been prevented.
2. Unanticipated Falls
Unanticipated falls happen when an individual who was not at risk for a fall due to any condition experiences a sudden health crisis that leads to the fall, for example having a stroke or a seizure.
3. Anticipated Falls
Anticipated falls happen when the person who falls has high-risk factors that make them more likely to fall. This can include taking certain medications or relying on a walker.
Who Is More Likely to Fall?
Anyone can slip, trip, or fall. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 37.3 falls that are serious enough to require medical attention happen every year. Most fatal falls involve three groups:
- Seniors age 65 and older
- Young adults 15 to 29 years old
- Children 15 and under
Males are more likely to fall than females. This could be because they are more likely to work in high-risk occupations like construction or because men are more likely to take dangerous risks.
Some risk factors that may make it more likely to suffer from a fall-related injury include alcohol and substance abuse, socioeconomic conditions like poverty, poor mobility, and unsafe environments.
Falls are responsible for more than 17 million disability-adjusted life years lost. The seriousness of these types of injuries cannot be overstated, but the good news is there are steps individuals and businesses can take to create a safer environment.
How to Lessen Your Risk
Some falls cannot be avoided because they are caused by factors beyond your control. Other falls, however, are completely avoidable. You can lower your risk of being hurt or killed in a fall by:
- Getting your vision checked every year
- Doing strength and balance exercises
- Cleaning up any clutter and keeping a tidy house
- Adding railings and grab bars
- Reviewing your medications with your physician
For business owners, you can prevent falls by having safety protocols in place and making sure your employees have adequate training regarding how to respond to spills. This can help keep people safe and help you to avoid an expensive lawsuit.
What to Do After a Fall
If you’ve been injured in a fall, even if you don’t think it’s serious, you may want to consider getting checked out by a doctor. Personal injury lawyers recommend this because it will create documentation of any injuries you have sustained that can be important if you decide to file a lawsuit. The doctor may also discover an injury that you missed that could become serious.
It is important to follow your doctor’s orders after a fall. You could delay your recovery or exacerbate your injuries if you become active again too soon. For example, if the doctor recommends bed rest, it is not a good idea to return to work.
You may need to see a physical or occupational therapist after a fall so you can heal from your injuries. They can help you learn to cope with your injury and give you the tools and techniques you need to get back to norma and return to work.