How to Prevent a Slip and Fall Injury
Nov 28, 2023
One of the most common reasons for ER visits around the holidays are slip and fall injury. As the weather gets colder, the likeliness of a slip-and-fall accident increases, with slippery surfaces becoming harder to avoid. Low temperatures, snow melting, and fun activities like ice skating and home decorating can often create unsafe environments where it is common to fall and hurt yourself. Slip and fall accidents tend to be the culprit behind all kinds of common winter injuries that we see filling the emergency room around this time of year.
While accidents can’t always be prevented, there are proactive steps you can take to minimize the risk of a slip and fall injury. If you need medical assistance after a slip and fall accident, Complete Care is open 24/7 to aid in your treatment.
What injury is most commonly the result of a slip and fall?
While the consequences of a slip and fall injury can range from minor bruises to severe head injuries, the most common ailment we see at the emergency room is fractured or broken bones. This type of injury is so common because people try to brace or catch themselves as they’re falling (a natural reaction) and instead cause fractures in the wrists, elbows, arms, or shoulders.
Ankles or other leg injuries can also occur during slip and fall injuries, depending on how high you’ve fallen from or how you land after a fall. Around this time of year, this is most commonly the result of falling off of a ladder either while doing repairs or hanging up holiday decorations.
No matter how minor your injuries may seem after a fall, it’s always a good idea to get the opinion of a medical professional, as the high adrenaline during the aftermath of an accident can often make injuries less apparent.
How to prevent slip and fall accidents
If you’re searching for ways to prevent falls this winter, here are some easy tips to follow to help you avoid a slip and fall injury.
Wear proper footwear
Wearing appropriate footwear can make a significant difference in preventing slip and fall injuries. Many work injuries and other accidents can happen because someone is wearing flimsy shoes or footwear that exposes their feet. Choose shoes with non-slip soles, laces, good arch support, and a comfortable fit like quality sneakers or boots. In slippery conditions, it’s best to avoid wearing high heels or flip-flops which can make it more difficult for you to keep your balance.
Take small steps on slippery surfaces
When walking around either in or outdoors, always be aware of your surroundings. If you’re indoors, pay attention to any wet floor signs that could indicate a slippery area. When outdoors, take smaller steps and watch where you’re walking to avoid slips or trips. This is especially relevant if the ground is icy or slippery. Hiking injuries, for example, often stem from slips and falls due to the many slippery surfaces that can be found in nature, especially around the fall and wintertime.
Just remember that rushing is not worth sustaining a possible injury. Slow down, take your time, and watch your steps.
Practice ladder safety
Many of the patients we see in our emergency room around this time of year come to us after a ladder fall. Whether you’re decorating your roof for the holidays or using a ladder at work, practicing ladder safety should be your top priority.
Here are some ladder safety tips to follow:
- Inspect your ladder for missing parts, damage, or other defects before usage.
- Secure the ladder on a flat, even, and stable surface, and lock all spreaders or braces before stepping on it.
- Keep at least three points of contact with the ladder at all times. This typically means two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand on the ladder.
- Do not stand on the top step of the ladder as it is not meant to support weight and it will be easier for you to fall.
- Don’t carry too much weight while you’re on the ladder as it can interfere with your balance.
- Have someone spot you who can help you stay steady and bring you to the emergency room if a fall does occur.
What to do after a slip and fall accident
As we mentioned earlier, it is instinct to try and catch yourself when attempting to prevent falls. Sometimes our bodies do it involuntarily, but this can often lead to more injuries. If you feel yourself falling, try to land on your back (keeping your head up and away from impact), or grab the nearest handrail if available to stabilize yourself.
If you do slip and fall, try not to get up immediately. If you are alone, wait a few minutes then sit up slowly and assess if you have sustained any injuries then seek help. If you are with someone, have them bring you to the nearest emergency room to see if your injuries need proper treatment. It’s always better to be overly cautious in the case of slip-and-fall accidents. There is also a chance that you won’t feel any pain or notice any injuries after a fall even if you have sustained injuries. This is why it’s important to remain calm, be still, and not exacerbate any injuries or delayed pain.
Trust Complete Care to treat your slip and fall injury
If you have a slip and fall injury, head to your nearest Complete Care emergency room for treatment. Falls are unpredictable, but taking the necessary steps to prevent falls can help put the odds in your favor. Whether you’re walking on slippery surfaces or using a ladder for decorating, be sure to use caution to prevent an accident as best you can.
When and if disaster does strike in the form of a slip and fall, Complete Care’s emergency staff is here to assist you at any point. Our 24/7 emergency room facilities have low wait times and hospital-grade equipment to provide you with the care you deserve faster. Visit any of our multiple locations in Texas (Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas/Fort Worth, East Texas, Lubbock, and San Antonio) and in Colorado Springs today for quality emergency care for your slip and fall injury.
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