Updated July 2020
The rising temperatures bring a rise in fall risk. That’s because we’re more active in the summer with vacations, outdoor activities and extra hours of daylight. Don’t let a fall sideline you. Follow these summer safety tips for a fun, independent and accident-free season.
6 Ways to Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls this Summer
- Stay cool and hydrated. When our homes get hot or we’re outside in the heat, our body temperature can rise or we can get dehydrated. Long plane or train trips can also dry us out. These conditions may lead to dizziness or disorientation, which increase the possibility of falling. Drink water before you feel thirsty and plan outdoor activities in the cool of the morning or evening. Learn more about heat-related conditions that could affect you.
- Watch your step. Summer adventures often involve unfamiliar locations and terrain. Go slow and watch for steep inclines that can throw off balance and increase exertion. Keep eyes peeled for holes and loose dirt that could cause a tumble. And be careful on pool decks or slippery rocks.
- Choose smart shoes. Flip-flops and sandals are more stylish and more comfortable in warmer weather, but they can be a danger. Make sure summer footwear is sturdy, secure and appropriate for the conditions (and your outfit).
- Keep a weather eye. Summer thunderstorms create slick surfaces and scatter the yard with branches, both of which raise the risk of slips, trips and falls outside. Walk carefully on wet surfaces, avoid standing water and pick up storm detritus as quickly as possible to reduce hazards. And don’t forget to stay alert for wet spots at entryways.
- Improve your fitness. Tell your physician about the kinds of activities you’ll be engaging in over the summer and develop a fitness plan to get in shape, improve your balance and decrease your fall risk. Ask about mobility aids like a walking stick or special shoes.
- Talk to your pharmacist. Heat and hydration can impact the effectiveness of some medications. Ask pharmacy staff about storing medications in warm conditions like at a picnic, on a camping trip, etc., and how to manage water intake to avoid potential problems with prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs.
Use these fall prevention tips to make sure your summer is fun and safe.
Get even more details on avoiding falls and complications during the summer.
Don’t disregard professional medical advice, or delay seeking it, because of what you read here. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional consultation, diagnosis or treatment; it is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied. Always consult a healthcare provider if you have specific questions about any medical matter, and seek professional attention immediately if you think you or someone in your care may be suffering from a healthcare condition.