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Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations in Washington State. Learn how you can protect yourself and your loved ones.
Falls Are Not Always Funny!
Laurel and Hardy. Abbott and Costello. The Three Stooges. Many of these famous comedian teams used funny falls to bring us joy and laughter. But for tens of thousands of Washington residents, falls are not funny. They seriously hurt.
Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations in Washington State, resulting in more than 20,000 hospitalizations, according to the latest statistics from the Washington State Department of Health. Falls are the third-leading cause of injury-related death.
Adults age 65 or order are the most at risk. They represent 2 out of 3 hospitalized falls and 8 out of 10 fall-related deaths. Falls among older adults are the leading cause of injury hospitalizations here in our state.
Your Washington Union Firefighters, EMTs and Paramedics are the first on the scene to provide medical assistance after a fall. We notice that many falls can be prevented by making simple changes in your living areas, as well as personal and lifestyle changes. Here are some tips from Washington’s Union Fire Fighters and the National Institutes of Health to keep you and your loved ones safe:
Improving lighting in your home. Make it easier to see potential hazards. Good lighting on stairways is especially important.
Install handrails and grab bars.
Move items to make them easier to reach.
Remove items that could cause you to trip or slip while walking. This includes small furniture, throw rugs, electrical cords, pet dishes or toys.
Arrange furniture to give you plenty of room to walk.
Be sure that carpets are secured to the floor and stairs by using non-slip strips or double-sided tape.
Try to avoid wet floors and clean up spills immediately.
Be careful when walking outdoors. Watch for uneven areas.
During the winter, ask someone to spread sand or salt on icy surfaces.
Place a lamp within easy reach of your bed. Put night lights in the bathroom, hallways, bedroom and kitchen.
Keep flashlights by your bed and near your sofa and other favorite sitting areas, in case the power goes out unexpectedly.
Properly placed grab bars in your tub and shower, and next to the toilet, can help prevent falls.
Rearrange often-used items in your home to make them easier to reach. Store food, dishes, clothing and other everyday items within easy reach.
If you would like help spotting fall hazards in your home, contact your local union fire fighters. We are happy to come to your home for a free home safety inspection. We care about you!
The WSCFF is always proud to have a representative in your area speak at educational events. Whether it's in a town hall or a school classroom, we are always looking for ways to educate the public about safety in their homes or businesses.