ACEP: Most ER visits result from falls
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.