Even though we're approaching the end of winter, which means the end of slippery slopes, icy surfaces, and unpredicted blizzards, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't keep being careful when walking around. We advise you to always bring your aids for mobility with you.
Accidental falls can happen anytime, anyplace, to anyone, regardless of the season or reason. There can be a tiny rock on the ground that you miss detecting and step on it the wrong way, resulting in a tumble.
What do you usually do when you find yourself in such a situation? Do you stay down and take your time or do you get the urge to immediately get up and avoid being seen by people who walk by? This is exactly what you should not be doing. It is dangerous to make sudden movements after a bone or a muscle has suffered a potential injury.
What to do in the case of an accidental fall?
Whether you are the one who has suffered a fall, or you are witnessing someone struggling to get up, here is what you need to do/advise them to do:
- Stay as calm as possible. Stay as calm as possible. Panicking can only make things worse by making you impulsively move your body to see if everything is alright. Instead, try and stay still for a moment until your brain releases itself from the shock. Also, the adrenaline pumping your veins may give you false information that you aren't feeling any pain, when actually, there may be something seriously wrong.
- Check if something hurts. Once your brain has stabilized, check if something hurts. Start by simply moving your extremities, back, and neck. If all seems fine, check for physical bruising by gently touching the suspicious areas. Once you can concur that there is no damage, you can slowly start getting up.
- Grab onto stable mobility aid. Find something steady to hold on to while getting up. If there isn't anything of sort nearby, get down on all four and slowly start standing up, one foot at a time.
- Call someone. If in fact, you do feel some pain, try getting help from people who are walking by. If there is no one in sight, try your phone and call someone close to you to come and help you out. If you cannot reach anyone, and you are feeling severe pain, please call an ambulance.
- Detect the source of the fall. Try and stay focused and see what was the reason for your fall. It may not have been clumsiness, but an actual threat on the surface such as wet floors, a construction site, etc. If that was the case and there was no warning sign, you can easily press charges for the damages.
- Get to a doctor. Even if you are feeling well, we would still advise you to go see a doctor just in case. Falls can sometimes lead to hemorrhages that can be potentially dangerous later on. Why risk it when you can prevent it?
- Rest for a few days. If your environment allows it, stay in bed for a few days. If you have suffered a sprain, it will most probably require some rest so things can go back to the way they were.
- Always bring your mobility aid. If you have some sort of disability, never leave your house without your aid for mobility. This can be your crutches, walking sticks, rollator, or anything that's helping you move around more easily.
All in all, the catch is not to act too fast and make reckless movements.