How dangerous are slip-and-fall accidents? It depends. Small children fall all of the time, get back up, and keep on trucking, but one spill can do a great deal of damage to the wrong person, particularly people over the age of 65. The National Institutes of Health conducted an analysis of injuries treated in emergency rooms from 2001-2008 in order to track slip-and-fall injuries, where they occur, and the pain and decreased mobility that resulted. Here is what they found:
Every year within this time period American emergency rooms treated approximately 38,000 adults ages 65 and older for injuries sustained with carpets and rugs. In the majority of cases (72.8%) these injuries occurred at home. Women were much more likely to be treated than men.
The most common site in the home for falls was the bathroom (35.7%). Typically people fell when they were passing over spots where carpets met rugs or rugs met flooring, where there were wet spots on rugs or flooring, or while they were hurrying to the bathroom. Other problems associated with injuries included rugs or carpets with curled edges or fold, but loose area rugs were a bigger problem than carpets.
The most reported injuries were in people ages 75-84, and the injuries were most commonly to the head or neck. While older people often worry about falls because they so often result in fractures or breaks, they worry especially about hip fractures because they lead to complications and lesser mobility. Not only is a hip fracture painful, one in five people who suffer one will die within a year of their injury. Even following a successful recovery after a fall, older people will go out less and take fewer chances out of lingering fear.
Previously we talked about things you should do to keep your rugs from slipping and creating hazards in your home. Using products like RugLock, non-slip rug pads, or rubber backings will help to keep your rugs in place and therefore create less of a hazard in your home. If you haven’t secured the rugs in your home, now would be a good time to tackle that job – before winter presents us with even more slip and fall opportunities. Consider safety proofing the rugs in the homes or apartments of your older relatives or friends as well. A small investment in safety could mean years more of health and independent living for your loved ones and priceless peace of mind.
Call us at Bond Products if you need help or advice about the products necessary to make the rugs and carpets in your home safer to traverse.