Imagine you’re walking through your house, exiting the hallway and entering the living room. Your foot happens upon a toy your cat lost interest in. You begin to stumble.
Now if it were the movies, the images and sound would move in slow motion as your tray of meticulously prepared hors d’oeuvres begins to slide. You manage to recover though, catch all the food and stick the landing. The people in your house all applaud your amazing acrobatics.
In reality, you fall, managing to hit your funny bone on the bookshelf on your way down. You lie on the floor, simultaneously laughing and complaining about your cat and its ability to leave its toys in all the wrong places. You wonder how big your bruise will be.
I have a knack for tripping on everything, which is not good for my shoes, toes and my general self-esteem. According to statistics, I’m not alone. The National Safety Council (NSC) says that falling leads the pack when it comes to unintentional injury and accounts for more than 8.7 million emergency room visits every year.
June is National Safety Month and this week’s focus is preventing slips, trips and falls. The NSC offers 11 tips for eliminating falling hazards in your home:
- Keep your floors and stairs clean and clear
- Make sure your indoor and outdoor walkways are well lit
- Secure cords and wires out of traffic areas
- Place non-skid throw rugs in potentially slippery places
- Make sure you have handrails on all stairways and porches
- Only use sturdy step stools or ladders when climbing or reaching for high places, not chairs, tables or anything on wheels
- Clean up any spills when they happen
- Wear comfortable and sensible shoes
- Arrange your furniture in a way that provides generous paths to walk through
- Check the condition of outdoor walkways and steps — repair if necessary
- Keep outdoors walkways clear, especially in the fall and winter, when leaves, snow and ice can create problems
While falls are often a source of laughter (especially if there’s a YouTube video), they can also lead to some very serious injuries. It’s best to do everything you can to help prevent them in your home.
And if you’re in the market for insurance, locate an agency appointed with Foremost to help.