Falling is something most of us don’t have to think about—until it happens. Yet the injuries that accompany a fall can be serious, even life-altering; falling accounts for one-third of all traumatic brain injuries.
Although falls are often unavoidable, many injuries that come with this type of accident can be prevented. Learning how to fall correctly could help save you from debilitating injuries, lost wages, mounting medical bills and lengthy recoveries.
Read on to learn 5 tips taken from professionals for how you can potentially avoid serious injury during a fall.
How the Pros Break Their Falls
For some professionals, falling is not an option—it is part of the job. Here’s how they do it to minimize injury.
- Servicemen and Paratroopers in the U.S. military are drilled on proper Parachute Landing Fall (PLF) techniques, which involves falling to the side after the feet hit the ground.
- Martial Artists are trained to round their bodies, distributing energy by moving with the fall
- Professional Stuntmen combine several strategies such as getting the body low, rolling, relaxing and distributing their weight on impact
Falling with Improper Technique
A natural reaction to falling is to try to stop it. However, this is not always the safest option.
Young children and toddlers, for example, usually fall and then pop back up without serious injury. As they get older, however, children tend to extend their arms and increase the chance of breaking bones.
Adults have different responses when it comes to falls. Their reaction speeds are lower and they also tend to stiffen up during a fall out of fear or embarrassment. Falling with this type of tension can lead to devastating injuries.
Life-Altering Injuries from Falls
Falling accidents are so common that almost 7.9 million individuals in the U.S. are sent to the emergency room each year after suffering falls.
One-third of all traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are linked to a falling accident. A TBI occurs when physical trauma such as an impact from a fall disrupts normal brain function. Injuries range from mild to severe and are often life-long conditions.
Long-term effects from a TBI include: cognitive defects, perceptual and sensory defects, functional complications, and even loss of life.
5 Tips to Avoid Injury During a Fall
Although most of us are not professionals, the following techniques can help you learn to fall “correctly:”
- Protect your head by tucking your chin when falling back or to the side when falling forward
- Bend your elbows and knees and fall on the fleshy part of your body
- Shift your body weight to land on your side
- Avoid rigidity and don’t panic. Instead, loosen up as you fall
- Don’t fight the fall- relax and roll with it
When Your Fall Results in Serious Injury
Falls can happen anywhere. More often, they happen in familiar places; from slipping on public sidewalks to tripping on uneven surfaces at work, some falls are not your fault.
If you or a loved one fell and suffered a TBI while on public property or an unsafe work environment, you may have a right to fair compensation.
The legal team at The Brain Injury Law Center is ready to fight for you. Call our office today at (757) 244-7000 for a free consultation and find out how we can help you on your path to healing.