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4 tips for Fall Prevention Awareness Week

Though not always a consideration, there is a reason that the National Safety Council uses the last week of September to observe Fall Prevention Awareness Week. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, over 8 million annual emergency health visits are due to falls, making it the leading cause. Perhaps the biggest contributor is that falls can happen almost anywhere, in the home or at the office. But you can help to prevent accidents by following these four helpful tips:

"Falls result in over 8 million emergency health visits every year."

1. De-clutter your home
One of the biggest causes of falls, slips and related injuries is clutter. That's why regular cleaning is a good idea for all homeowners. Make sure the main pathways in your house are fear of personal objects, electrical cords or potentially troublesome throw rugs. If you have smaller pieces of furniture, keep them in the middle of the room and not near the home's major walkways. If yo​u do have rugs or carpets, make sure they're secured to the floor.

2. Go the extra mile
If you really want to ensure your home is as safe as possible, you may want to consider installing some added safety measures. In the bathroom, that could include grab bars near the toilet or in the shower. Stairs can also be a spot for falls, and many families use either non-slip adhesive strips or even railings. If nothing else, he right lighting can go a long ways to reducing falls. That means putting night lights in areas like the kitchen, hallways and dining room.

3. Stay as active as you can
According to many medical experts, the right pair of shoes can also help prevent falls. Something like high heels might look good, but they're not nearly as effective as a pair of sturdy shoes, preferably with nonskid soles. The right pair of shoes can also keep you active, and the Mayo Clinic explained that exercise can help prevent falls. Even something simple like light yoga or walking can improve your flexibility and balance, helping to ensure you won't fall as often.

4. Watch the windows
If you have small children, it's doubly important to make sure that the windows in your home are safe and secure. Screens are almost always a good idea, and window guards are a great add-on for further support. Window stops can also be a great deterrent, so long as they don't open any more than four inches. If your home features windows with several opening points, opt for the bottom to prevent falls. Finally, closing and locking windows when they're not in use is always your best bet.

As is the case with so much of life, some times falls are all but unavoidable. But whether you've slipped cleaning the house or coming down the stairs, you can always head to your local CareWell Urgent Care Center for treatment. With highly trained physicians at each of the facilities across the East Coast, CareWell can treat most fall-related injuries and help get you back on your feet pronto.

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