Falls can cause injuries that range from minor to fatal. They are a serious consideration for all ages, and are the most common single cause of all injuries treated in hospitals. Women are three times more likely than men to be hospitalized from a fall-related injury.
Children have a risk of falling as they develop. Three things affect the seriousness of a fall for a child or baby: height from which the child can fall, what the child falls onto, and what they may hit as they fall. Babies should be placed where they cannot fall, as many of them can roll off a bed before parents know they can roll. Slippery areas should be avoided by children of all ages.
Walking is the most common fall-related activity for middle-aged people. Falls frequently occur outside where there are uneven surfaces such as cracks or height changes, and ice on sidewalks or curbs. Injuries related to these falls can be serious and sometimes fatal.
Falls are the top cause of accidents in people over the age of 65. Normal changes of aging such as poor eyesight and hearing, illnesses, and physical conditions that affect strength make people more likely to fall. Poor lighting or throw rugs in the home, and some medications that upset balance such as medication for depression, sleep problems, and high blood pressure can make older people more likely to fall. People taking four or more medications or who have a medicine change in the past two weeks are more likely to fall.