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Do you know the safe way to fall?

In a previous post, we discussed the serious injuries that can result from slip-and-fall accidents—particularly as we get older. When we your kids, our bodies were quite resilient, and falling down was no big deal. But as adults, our increased height and body mass—not to mention our more brittle bones—mean that a simple tumble can have more severe consequences.

Unless you made a career as a professional athlete or stunt double, you probably haven’t learned the best way to avoid injuries when you fall. In today’s post, we outline a few basic tips to avoid causing yourself harm in a fall:

  • Avoid unprotected areas: When most people stumble, their natural inclination is to reach out with extended arms to break their fall. However, landing on your hand, elbow or knee puts you at high risk of broken bones—because these areas are not well padded. Instead, it’s best to tuck your limbs into your body as you fall.
  • Control the direction: Falling directly forward or backward puts you at the highest risk of serious injury to the spine and head. It’s best to pivot as you fall—so that you can redirect your impact onto your side. Landing on areas with extra fat and muscle—such as your buttocks, thigh or upper arm—provides added protection on impact.
  • Stay relaxed: You may have heard that drunk drivers often sustain fewer injuries in an accident, because their impairment prevents them from tensing up. It may seem counterintuitive, but allowing your body to move with the fall—rather than tighten and fight against it—will limit injuries.

You can’t always avoid a slip-and-fall accident. However, training your body how to fall correctly can greatly reduce any consequences.

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