Slip and fall accidents occur all over Florida and all across the country each day. In many cases, these injuries lead to nothing more than injured pride, but these slips can also lead to spinal cord injury, fractured bones, brain injuries, and other serious problems. If you slip and fall, here is what you should do:
1) Stay calm. Rather than trying to get up immediately, take several deep breaths to relax. Try to determine whether you are hurt. Taking your time does two things. First, it allows your to get your bearings after the shock of a fall. Secondly, it ensures that if you are injured, you will not try to get up the wrong way, thus causing more damage.
2) If you appear uninjured or you think you can get up safely without assistance, first roll over onto your side and then push yourself slowly into a sitting position. Take a small rest, then slowly get up on your hands and knees and crawl to the nearest sturdy sitting area. Place your hands flat on the seat and push one foot forward until it is flat on the floor. Kneel on the other leg. Gradually rising from this position, turn your body to sit down. This may seem overly cautious, but this method gives your body and blood pressure time to adjust. Trying to stand up immediately after a fall can lead to another fall if your blood pressure has dropped or if you are feeling dizzy.
3) If you are injured or are not sure that you can get up safely without help, ask someone to call 911 or call for help. If there is no one near you, try to move to a more comfortable position and wait for someone who can help you. Unless it is an emergency, try not to move or get up. If you are injured, movement can cause more harm.
4) As soon as you can, write down where, how, and when you fell down. Write down anything you can remember about how you felt, what you were doing right before you fell, and any other details you remember. Make an appointment to see your doctor soon after the fall and bring your notes with you. Your doctor can determine whether the fall had a medical reason. Your doctor can then help you find ways to prevent future falls.
If you are often alone and have had trouble with dizziness, falls, or balance in the past, consider investing in a personal emergency response system. This service allows you to have necklace or bracelet with you all the time that is linked to your home phone system. If you fall, you only have to push the button to get in contact with emergency personnel. There is a monthly cost for this type of service, but the peace of mind it offers – not to mention it’s lifesaving potential – are often worth it for those who are at risk of slip and fall accidents. Another option is to get a cell phone or portable phone that you can keep with you as you move around your home. If you do fall, you can use the phone to call for help.
If you have fallen, you may wish tot visit a physical therapist to develop more balance and strength through exercise in order to regain your confidence and to prevent more falls. You may also wish to invest in walking aids or make changes in your home to reduce the chance of future falls. If you suffer from osteoporosis and are prone to falls, be sure to invest in a “hip protector.” This padded piece of clothing is worn under the clothes and absorbs some of impact when you fall, making a hip fracture far less likely.