How to Handle a Fall

Health & Well Being

Your best defense against a serious fall is to try to avoid one. The next best thing? Know what to do if you do tumble.

Controlling a fall may help make its impacts less severe. Also, getting up slowly and carefully may help prevent making an injury worse.

Keep these tips in mind.

During a fall:

  • Don’t put your arms out to break the fall. Doing so often results in a broken hand or wrist. Use your arms to cover and protect your head.
  • Try to land on your side or your bottom. Landing on these naturally padded areas may help you avoid a broken bone.

After a fall:

  • Don’t get up right away. Take some deep breaths to calm down and decide if you’re hurt. Slide or crawl to a chair or sofa that you can use to help yourself stand up.
  • If you can’t get up or you’re hurt and alone, call 911. If you don’t have a cellphone with you, slide or crawl to a phone.
  • Get checked out. It’s a good idea to tell your doctor you fell, even if you don’t think you’re hurt. Your doctor may want to see you.

Dial it in

Put your doctor’s number in your cellphone so you can easily call after falling.