Yuma, Arizona - Many of the injury cases the Yuma Fire Department responds to are the result of falls. Last week at least 38 emergency medical responses were for injuries related to falls, and there have been many HUNDREDS every year. Every week about 10% of our calls for service are fall related. This could be something as simple as tripping in a parking lot or cases often more serious, like falling from a ladder or roof. No matter your age or activity, it pays to watch your footing and be careful.

According to the Center for Disease Control, More than one third of adults 65 and older fall each year in the United States, and among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths. Older adults can take several steps to protect their independence and reduce their risk of falling. They can: exercise regularly and improve balance; ask their doctor or pharmacist to review their medicines–both prescription and over-the counter–to reduce side effects and interactions; have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year;  improve the lighting in their home;  and reduce hazards in their home that can lead to falls.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, unintentional falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries among children. Some tips for safeguarding children in the home include keeping stairs clear of toys and other items that could cause someone to trip, teaching children to hold the handrail when on stairs or escalators, and always tie their shoelaces to avoid tripping over them. Also, make sure tall furniture, clocks, televisions, etc. are secured to the wall to prevent falling on children; and watch children closely while they are on the playground.

One of the many classes YFD offers is the "Remembering When" program for senior fire safety and fall prevention. The best treatment in the world cannot compare to never being injured in the first place. Safety is no accident! For more information about fire safety and injury prevention, contact the Yuma Fire Department Public Information Office at 928-373-4855.