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General walking about

Risk Factors Prevention
  • Outdoor falls are triggered by uneven sidewalk and street surfaces, curbs and slipping
  • Falls commonly occur on porches and in parks
  • Falls occur in parking lots and garages, particularly from tripping over short curbs often placed at the end of parking spaces
  • Install good lighting on stairs and walkways
  • Ensure adequate lighting on perimeter of house
  • Cover walk areas such as porches and steps with weatherproof and textured paint for more traction
  • Reduce the chance of slipping by adding abrasive strips or rubber stair treads, or use deck paint that has a rough texture
  • Keep steps, sidewalks, decks and porches free of obstacles/debris
  • Always use handrails when stepping on stairs
  • Be aware of changes in surroundings (especially changes in terrain); try to stay on level ground and watch for steps, holes, uneven areas and obstacles in pathways
  • Check the height of curbs and steps before stepping up on them or down from them. Curbs with inclines or cutaways for bikes can be misleading.


General walking about

Risk Factors Prevention


  • Poor outdoor lighting
  • Vision problems or glare from sun
  • Loose or uneven sidewalks, steps and driveways
  • Inadequate or lack of stair railings
  • Patio or deck furniture in walkways
  • Inclement weather creating unsafe conditions (e.g., ice, snow accumulation, mud, etc.)
  • Overgrown shrubs and tree branches
  • Wear correct eyewear and/or sunglasses when walking. Reading glasses or bifocals can distort potential hazards
  • Install handrails for outdoor steps (must be reachable and graspable)
  • Make sure stairs are even, in good shape and well-lit or repair or replace any damaged, loose or worn-down areas, and make sure no nails are protruding
  • Paint the edges of the steps with a color that contrasts with the rest of the stairway
  • Install sturdy railings around deck and patio areas
  • Replace steps with ramp access, as needed
  • Ensure outdoor furniture is out of the walkway
  • Use ice melt and cat litter to provide traction on ice and snow. Be especially aware of black ice.
  • Walk on grass if sidewalks or driveways appear slippery or uneven
  • Hire or ask someone to help with shoveling, yard work and pruning of shrubs and trees
  • Remove protruding tree roots and repair loose concrete areas on driveways

Other Areas of Fall Prevention

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