6 Common Causes of Falls at Home

Injury statistics in Australia all highlight the common, often dangerous occurrence of falls. According to the latest figures of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, as much as 40% of all injuries in the country that require further hospitalisation are due to falls. Falls often happen to both young children and the elderly, and some of the most severe cases can unfold just at home.

If you don’t want to be on the negative side of such a survey, it’s best to equip yourself with knowledge on how to care for injured persons in your household. Though you can learn to treat common household injuries at a basic first aid training course in Brisbane or in your locality, it would also help to take these additional steps for particular incidences of falling.

In this article, you will learn about six common causes of falls at home, what quick action the family member in charge can take in the aftermath, and what to do to prevent such a fall from happening again. Read on to prepare for each different scenario.

  1. Steep stairs. Stairs are a fairly common culprit to falls. It can be very easy to land on your bottom or head straight into the ground after one misstep; it can also be very dangerous if you or your loved ones suffer a concussion or dislocate a limb.

    How to prevent falls from stairs: The best way to prevent falls from stairs is to keep the stairway path clear, the steps reinforced, and your loved ones supported with additional implements like railings. See to it that moving from floor to floor in your house is a safe endeavour as well as an easy one.

  2. Slippery floors. Sometimes it’s an excess of floor wax that makes a floor very slippery; sometimes it’s by virtue of their construction that certain types of flooring are more slippery than others. Regardless, there are many occasions in which one of your household members can slip on the floor. Many floor slips occur in home spaces like the kitchen or bathroom.

    How to keep floors walkable: There are different measures you can take to prevent floor slips. These can range from something as simple as installing bath mats or investing in slip-proof flooring to replace what you already have in your home. All the same, any effort to make your floors more walkable will be good on your family.
  3. Liquid residue. There are several reasons why a puddle can end up on your floors. Somebody may have spilled a glass of water or a cup of coffee; leaks in the piping may have pooled water onto the tiles; your pet may have urinated on the floor without someone noticing. Any liquid residue of this sort could result in an unpleasant fall.

    How to prevent spillage and slippage: Practice kitchen safety by keeping the lids on drinks, pots, or other appliances. Put away liquid food products when you’re done consuming them and tuck them safely away in the refrigerator or cupboard. Moreover, you should examine the piping systems in your home regularly so that they don’t leak. And of course, watch over your pets—if it’s time for them to take a leak, guide them to a safe place to do so!

  4. High chairs. Falling off at a height from chairs or other furnishings is a common cause of harm among babies and toddlers. Young children of this age are very curious and daring, but do not have the depth perception to gauge how serious their fall may be.

    Preventing falls from chairs and other furnishings:
    Supervise your children at all times. For babies, only leave them to move by themselves in wide and low spaces or spaces that have adequate reinforcement, such as cot rails.
  5. Wearing fall-prone clothing. Walking across the floor while wearing socks or trousers with long and baggy legs may seem innocuous, but such clothing may lead to a fall. This happens more often than you might think, and as such, it’s better to be safe than sorry even with clothing.

    Safe attire against falls: Instead of excessively loose or baggy clothing, encourage your loved ones to wear hemmed attire at home. Make sure that your elderly family members, in particular, are wearing slippers, sandals, or flip-flops that can adequately grip the floor.

  6. Inadequate lighting fixtures or visibility problems. A number of falls also occur in the dark, either because the home’s lighting fixtures aren’t bright enough or because the victim has problems with their sight. Either way, falls in the dark are quite perilous because it is also hard to determine what other hazards are in one’s path.

    How to improve visibility in your home: It may be time for you to install more powerful light bulbs in your home, or (with the consent of everybody) to set up devices like sensors in order to detect movement. Perhaps it’s also a good opportunity to accompany your loved one to an eye check-up and help them recover their vision.

Take a short tour of your own home and try to locate areas where falling accidents can occur, and try to come up with solutions to prevent these accidents before they happen. Keep the list above in mind, and you’ll have an easier time pointing out spaces that can be less than safe for you or your loved ones.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does constitute, replace, or qualify as RPL for our first aid training courses.