Slips and Falls a Leading Cause of Injury for Older Adults in Charlotte

The third week in June marks Fall Prevention week, an annual observance by the National Safety Council (NSC) to encourage and educate safe behaviors regarding the leading cause of preventable injuries and deaths.

Our North Carolina personal injury lawyers of Charlotte and elsewhere are aware that falls account for almost 9 million emergency room visits and are one of the leading causes of accidental injuries in the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year one out of three adults 65 and older will fall. Falls are the leading cause of injury and death among adults 65 and older. In 2009, over 2 million fall injuries in older adults were treated in hospital emergency rooms and almost 600,000 required hospitalizations. Fall deaths among adults 65 and older is four times greater than the amount of fall deaths among all other age groups.

The NSC recommends the following for older adults to prevent falls:

-Help improve your balance by exercising. Take brisk walks, practice tai chi or take yoga classes.

-Stay hydrated while exercising and consult with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

-Have a health professional review all of your medications. Some medicines or a combination of medicines can cause drowsiness or light-headedness.

-Poor vision can lead to falls, so have your eyes checked regularly.

-Pay extra attention when you use stairs.

-Avoid distractions while walking. Don’t be read, text or talking on a cell phone.

-Be aware of objects around you, even in familiar areas.

See if you have any potential fall hazards by asking the following questions:

-Do your stairs have handrails on both sides?

-Do you keep your stairs clear of clutter?

-Do you have lights at the top and bottoms of stairs?

-Are small rugs taped to the floor?

-Do you have night lights in bedrooms, bathrooms and hallways?

-Does your bathtub have a non-slip mat or surface?

-Do you have grab handles in your tub and shower?

-Do you clean up spills as soon as they happen?

-Are there lights for porches and walkways?

-Are your walkways clear of clutter?

-Do you store ladders on their sides?

To protect young children from falls, safety gates should be placed at the top and bottom of stairs; have window guards installed on second floor windows; and playground equipment should have at least a 9 to 12 inch layer of wood chips, mulch or other fall absorbing material on the ground.

The Lee Law Offices, P.A. know that being involved in a serious Carolina accident or losing a loved one in an accident can be a challenging time in your life. If you or someone you love has been involved in a serious accident, call us at 1-800-887-1965 or email our law offices to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights.

Additional Resources:

Falls a Common Cause of Injury and Death Among North Carolina Elderly , North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, April 24, 2011

One person killed, another injured, after fall from Greensboro carnival ride , North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, May 28, 2011

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