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    ACEP: Most ER visits result from falls

    October 21, 2010

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    Unintentional falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits, the American College of Emergency Physicians said this week. Nearly 9 million visits for fall-related injuries occur each year, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The two highest-risk age groups are children younger than 5 and adults older than 70.

    To prevent unintentional falls, Dallas-based ACEP recommends:

    • Remove clutter, particularly from walkways and stairs.
    • Use night lights in bedrooms, halls and bathrooms.
    • Consider a handgrip in bathrooms and showers.
    • Remove throw rugs and tack down other rugs to reduce tripping hazards.
    • Be sure the bottom of the tub has a non-slip surface.
    • Wear helmets and other protective gear when biking, motorcycling or playing contact sports.
    • Inspect playground equipment to make sure it is age appropriate and in good condition.
    • Teach children to use handrails on the stairs and be certain their shoes are tied.
    • Set up locking gates near staircases to prevent access by younger children.
    • Install window guards with an emergency quick-release mechanism.

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