No one likes to fall, but as we all know, it happens. In fact, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, this common type of accident sends approximately 7.9 million individuals of all ages to U.S. emergency rooms each year.
Could many of these falls have been prevented? Maybe not. The injuries, however, are a different story.
As strange as it may sound, falling correctly (yep, it’s a skill) can help avoid a broken wrist or other debilitating injuries, lost work days, lengthy recoveries, and mounting medical bills.
Should We Follow Our Instincts During a Fall?
Most often, falls happen in familiar environments, including public sidewalks and unsafe workplaces. Falling down stairs and off ladders, slipping on wet floors and tripping on improperly stored objects or raised surfaces are just a few of the common causes leading to injuries.
Our natural reaction is to stop the fall, but that typically isn’t the safest response.
Young children will fall and pop up without injury, but as they age, they extend their arms, increasing the odds of broken bones.
Adult Natural Reaction
As adults, we stiffen, fear embarrassment, and have slower reaction times while falling leading to even more debilitating injuries.
How Professionals Fall Without Injury
In the U.S. Military, servicemen and paratroopers are drilled on proper Parachute Landing Fall (PLF) techniques, which entails falling to the side after the feet hit the ground.
In martial arts, practitioners round the body in a gymnastics form, then distribute the energy and move with it.
Professional stuntmen are trained in falling very much like in martial arts, using a variety of universal strategies such as getting low, rolling, distributing the weight and relaxing.
Those who practice the popular urban sport of parkour, which developed from military obstacle course training, use a variety of disciplined movements adapted to the environment.
5 Tips to Avoid Injury During a Fall
Even though many of us lack proper falling abilities, all is not lost. We can learn to fall correctly – before it happens – to avoid common injuries such as head trauma, broken bones, organ damage and even life-threatening wounds.
1. Protect your head by tucking it in as you pivot to the side
2. Bend your elbows and knees, and try to fall on the fleshy part of your body
3. Shift the body weight to minimize the impact
4. Avoid being rigid and panicky, instead, loosen up as you fall
5. Don’t fight the fall – try to relax and roll with it
Your Fall May Not Be Your Fault
If you’ve fallen and suffered an injury at work or in public, you may have a potential premise liability case. With decades of combined experience, our attorneys have the experience to help you during this painful time. Please contact our Connecticut firm today by calling (860) 346-2695 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.