Monday, 11 June 2012

On falling downstairs


Did you know that over 1000 people a year die from falling downstairs? No? Neither did I. But I found out about it today. Funny, that. We are warned of the dangers of drinking, smoking, eating fat/carbohydrate/pretty well anything - in fact nearly all the things that make life worth living - and yet something most of us do every day is that dangerous.

I fell downstairs nearly nine years ago, and was lucky. I flew from the top to the bottom without touching a single stair (clever, eh?) and only broke my back. (Yes, thank you. I'm more or less ok now, although it still hurts at times.)

But if this has alarmed you, there is help at hand in the form of some useful advice on the internet under the heading of "How to not Fall Downstairs". I'll forgive the split infinitive, for the advice is invaluable. An example:

Taking steps more than one at a time, jumping, running, skipping, dancing, or any other movement besides walking slowly drastically increases your chances of falling.

There. Aren't you glad you read this? And who knows.I might just have saved a life. Which makes it all soooo worthwhile.

29 comments:

  1. Oh dear that messes up my exercise routine which I make full use of my stairs instead of going to the gym and paying huge membership bills.:-)

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    1. Ah, but I bet you were glad of the advice, Paula!

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    2. Does this mean I'll just have to get fat instead.... Then I'll need health advice for obesity, or would that mean I would just roll down the stairs instead.

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  2. Use of handrail is a good strategy too.

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    1. Use of handrail was included. These wonderful people thought of everything. If only I'd come across them nine years ago...

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  3. While I have only once in my life (when I was about 5 years old) fallen down the stairs, I have managed several times to trip on going UPstairs, hitting my shin nicely against a step but not causing any real injuries.
    As for the dangerous things we are never warned of, my Dad says, "going to bed is dangerous. Most people die there."
    (I still like my bed and it is my favourite place in the house!)

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    1. I guess most people don't so much die in bed as go to bed to die. If you see what I mean. But horse riding apart, there are few things I enjoy that can't be done in bed. So I'm with you on that!

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  4. I once lived in a bungalow and really missed having an upstairs. However, it made life with very small children much easier from a safety viewpoint. When we subsequently moved to a house with two staircases, I became almost paranoid about stair-safety, especially after a stair-gate failed and my then four-year-old and her friend both crashed down, miraculously without injury.

    The problem these days is that one of our cats tends to lie across a selected step and I don't always spot him when I haven't got my contact lenses in...

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    1. Which begs the question: how many cats are killed by people falling down stairs?

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  5. They should include 'giving your mate a piggy-back' which I often catch students doing on the college staircase.

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    1. I think that I can honestly say that I've never given my mates a piggyback down the stairs. Nor do I intend to.

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  6. I've had a few close shaves, the worst being some years ago in the middle of the night. I heard the car alarm go off and immediately jumped out of bed (and sleep) as it's a quiet cul-de-sac, dived to the top of the stairs and ended up at the bottom, my back having scraped its way down. And I had a job interview the next day - but I shakily got there, and got the job!

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    1. Mine happened in the middle of the night too, Rosemary.

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  7. Meant to say , I love the picture of your books alongside Bridget Jones!

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    1. Me to. Sadly, shelf space is about the only thing we've shared :(

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  8. Hm, we have several flights of stairs. Don't think I've ever fallen downstairs yet though have sometimes slid on the edge of the stair carpet and come down with a bump on the step below - not nice. Falling down a whole flight would be even less nice. *looks alarmed*

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    1. Jenny, believe me, it wasnt nice at all. I certainly wouldn't recommend it ( although I did read a lot of books).

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  9. I'd best stop skipping and dancing down the stairs then - that must be where I've been going wrong ;-)

    I have fallen down the stairs a few times, but never with drastic consequences thank goodness. One time I fell from top to bottom whilst carrying my daughter, aged about 18 months. I think I hit every step and had a bruise for each one, but I managed to keep hold of her and she wasn't hurt at all :-) x

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    1. Funny how far we go to protect our young. I once tipped over backwards on a high kitchen stool while holding a baby grandson. He was unharmed ( though pretty cross). All goes to show what nice people we writers really are...?

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    2. Sounds as if you are a trifle accident prone!

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  10. You just broke your back! That get's today's Glad Game award without anyone else coming close.

    I don't have any stairs but I was staying with a friend recently who has 5 steep and very wide steps leading down from her front door and a significant sill on the door which you have to avoid before you can reach a handrail about 2 feet from the side of the door. Having caught a foot on the sill and nearly plummeted to the drive below I am exceptionally careful (and more than a little afraid). If ever there was a design aberration in a house then that must be near the top of the danger list.

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  11. Actually I've done it twice,GB. The first time on ( or rather off) a horse.

    As for you, take care. Otherwise this post will have been in vain :(

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    1. TWICE!!! I repeat my last comment (about you being accident prone) and retire astounded, amazed and speechless.

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  12. Good grief! I didn't even think about that as a hazard. Perhaps I should move to a bungalow!

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    1. No need to do that. Just look up those handy hints on the Internet and you'll be just fine.

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  13. I nearly slipped the other day coming down the stairs in socks. So listen up folk, always wear something with a firm sole.

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    1. Or Velcro shoes and a Velcro stair carpet?

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