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3 tips to preventing injury in a fall

A slip and fall accident can lead to serious injury. Every year, nearly 8 million people visit the emergency room due to a slip and fall. That's more than one-third of all injury-based ER visits.

Even if you don't fall from a high platform, such as a ladder or rooftop, a slip and fall can still cause real physical harm. Half of all accidental deaths in the home are the result of falls-the majority of which occur on the ground. Floor conditions are the cause of 2 million slip and fall accidents per year.

Unless you're a trained stunt double or paratrooper, you've probably never been taught how to fall properly. But knowing the correct way to fall can be an extremely effective tool to help you avoid or curtail injury. Today we examine three core techniques for a safer fall:

· Tip #1: Redirect. First and foremost, you want to shield your most critical organ-your brain-from impact. When most people fall, they move straight forward or backward. This type of motion leaves your head and spine exposed, putting you at high risk of landing on your head, sustaining whiplash or getting a concussion. By pivoting to the side and tucking your head, you put yourself in a safer position to hit the ground.

· Tip #2: Redistribute impact. If you fall, you're likely to try to use one of your limbs-outstretched hands, feet or knees-to break your fall. This is a dangerous reaction, because all of these parts are boney and susceptible to breakage. Instead, use the meatier parts of your body to your advantage: aim to hit the ground on your thigh, buttocks or shoulder.

· Tip #3: Ignore your instincts. When you fall, your body will reflexively fight against it. You will tense up, and this rigid brace makes you more vulnerable to injury. Try to loosen and relax your body as you fall.

Following the above guidelines can effectively reduce the impact and injury you sustain in a slip and fall accident. Share these tips to help keep your loved ones safe.

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