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Slip-and-fall injuries don't happen only to senior citizens

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of death and injury for older Americans. However, don't believe that only seniors can be the victims of slip-and-fall accidents.

In fact, the CDC reports that only 25 percent of the people who visit emergency rooms for injuries related to a fall are 69 or older. One quarter of the victims are under age 16, another 25 percent are between 16 and 44, and the remaining 25 percent are 45 to 68 years old. It's something Illinois residents of any age should be concerned about.

Learning how to avoid being injured in a fall is something young people should be taught, and they should work on strength and balance exercises as part of the regular physical regimen throughout their lifetime. Strength and stamina are an important part of lessening the risk of slipping and falling in later years.

Here are some simple ways to prevent slips and falls -- at any age.

  • Hold on to the handrail when you're going up and down the stairs.
  • Take extra precautions in the bathroom, which is a high-risk area for falls.
  • Sleep with night lights on in case you need to get up in the night.
  • Repair any hazards around your home promptly.
  • Be careful and slow down as you walk.

These are great ideas for reducing risks of falls when you're in control. You know your handrails are in good shape and secured to the wall, and that your bathroom floor isn't wet. You fixed that loose step leading to the front door. However, not everyone takes such precautions.

If you are injured in a fall because of someone else's negligence, you have a right to pursue compensation for your injury-related medical costs, lost income and other financial losses.

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